WATCH: Batanes governor thanks Manny Pangilinan for LTE
BATANES, Philippines – Batanes, some 658 kilometers away from the Philippine capital of Manila, is one of the most remote areas in the country. It's a place that for the longest time had remained disconnected from the rest of the modern world with its lack of fast internet.
But with the arrival of the LTE network of Smart Communications in April this year, that's no longer the case.
Batanes' residents, numbering 17,000 in the last census in 2015, now have a way to connect using the same LTE services and promos available to Smart subscribers in urban areas and less remote provinces.
Officially, the service was launched last Thursday, May 3, at an event held in Basco, the province's capital. The governor, Marilou Cayco, spoke at the event, where she expressed her thanks to the company for the completion of its Batanes LTE network – after years and years of what she described was slow or non-existent internet, especially after 2016's Typhoon Ferdie (Meranti).
A highlight of the event was when PLDT chief executive officer Manny Pangilinan made a video call to the governor. What was essentially a live demo of Smart's LTE connection became a moment of honest excitement for the governor. Cayco thanked the CEO profusely, praised the Smart team, and also made mention of Smart's promise that timely repairs would be made should a typhoon damage network equipment.
Smart's towers in Batanes can withstand winds of up to 250 kilometers per hour (km/h). Ferdie, among the strongest typhoons the world has seen, had maximum winds of up to 220 km/h and gustiness of up to 255 km/h as it hit the province in 2016.
"Kahit masira ang aming tower, pinangako sa akin ng technical staff 'nyo po na magagawa agad-agad po," Cayco said to Pangilinan.
(Even if our tower gets toppled, your technical staff promised me that it would be fixed immediately.) – Rappler.com