PLDT and its wireless unit Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) are teaming up with the local government of Pateros to provide fast and reliable connectivity to its municipal and barangay halls, barangay multipurpose centers, and vaccination sites.
Under the partnership, PLDT and Smart are rolling out fiber-powered WiFi via Smart Barangay Connect to Pateros barangays and municipal hall, deploying pocket wifi units and high-speed fiber internet to the municipality’s vaccination sites, including the main vaccination site at AMC Gym, and providing a central hotline for COVID-19 and emergency reporting.
“Access to quality connectivity is essential to any LGU that seeks to uplift the quality of life of their constituents, especially in this pandemic. Because of how the pandemic has restricted our movements, WiFi has become a basic need in our lives today, now that we must attend online meetings and hold online classes,” said Pateros Mayor Miguel F. Ponce, who led the official launch of the project, together with PLDT and Smart representatives led by Gia C. Palafox, Smart FVP and Head of Customer Development for NCR and Palawan. Also in attendance were Pateros Vice Mayor Gerald S. German and Councilor Jeric Reyes.
Ponce also underscored the importance of connectivity, particularly to their public school students and their teachers. “If we have 10,000 students, about 40% are doing online learning. Our teachers who stay inside the public schools to do their online classes also need connectivity,” he said.
“The new normal has highlighted the importance of this partnership, which takes us closer to our goal of elevating Pateros to be at par with other cities in the country. I am hopeful that this is just the beginning of our many projects together in the future,” Ponce added.
Partners in delivering a better world
“We are happy to partner with Mayor Ponce and Pateros in delivering a better world for Filipinos through digital innovation and technology,” Palafox said in ceremonies held at the Pateros Municipal Hall. “To support our Pateros customers better, we are continuously building and expanding our fiber footprint, as well as our LTE and 5G coverage, to deliver speeds that will enable work from home, online learning, and high-definition video streaming,” she added.
“We hear the call of Mayor Ponce and the LGU as they steer Pateros toward the future, and we are ready to support Pateros with solutions that will benefit their constituents,” said PLDT First Vice President Vic Y. Tria.
These efforts are aligned with Smart’s thrust in its “Live Smarter for a Better World” campaign, which highlights Smart’s long-running community partnership programs, enabling “personal revolutions” that spark lasting positive change through connectivity and CSR initiatives.
Smart’s Barangay Connect project, which aims to provide free WiFi to barangays and bring connectivity closer to communities, is being rolled out in key areas around the country, including Mandaluyong, Antipolo, Las Pinas, General Santos, and Nueva Ecija.
The deployment of Smart WiFi is part of PLDT and Smart’s nationwide rollout and expansion of their integrated fixed wireless networks. To date, Smart’s wireless network, the fastest mobile network in the country according to third-party analytics firm Ookla, covers 96% of the Philippine population from Batanes to Tawi-Tawi.
Enabling these services is parent company PLDT’s fiber infrastructure, the most extensive in the country at over 478,000 kilometers as of end-March 2021.
PLDT and Smart’s relentless push to provide connectivity for all is aligned with the group’s long-standing commitment to help the Philippines attain the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG #9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure.