Telcos lack ‘resiliency measure’ for internet connectivity in Mindanao – ICT expert

Linemen do repair work amid the chaos of electrical and telecommunications cables in downtown Davao City on Wednesday (1 September 2021). MindaNews file photo

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 20 December) – The recent internet outage after typhoon “Odette” (international name: Rai) ripped through parts of the Visayas and Mindanao revealed that telecommunications (telcos) companies lacked resiliency measures to prevent disruption of internet connectivity in the south, an official of the Information Communications Technology (ICT)-Davao said.

Atty. Samuel Matunog, ICT Davao president, said in a text message on Sunday that the recent internet disruption on the island was by far the “most disruptive and costly to the economy of the island.”

While the immediate cause was the typhoon, he noted that it only showed that telephone companies are not prepared to ensure communication lines and internet access would not be disrupted after the onslaught of a devastating typhoon.

“While the immediate cause may be typhoon Odette, the more fundamental cause may have been the insufficiency of the resiliency measures employed by (telecommunications) companies to ensure Mindanao will not and will never be deprived of internet access,” he said.

Alfredo Baloran, head of Davao City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, told Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) on Monday that communication lines were down, but responders here were able to employ contingency plans in monitoring the rivers.

He added that they are proposing for the procurement of satellite phones next year to augment the disaster response capabilities of the city to prepare for typhoons with similar intensity as that of super typhoon Yolanda on November 3, 2013.

He said using the satellite gadgets, communication lines of the responders will not be disrupted even after the occurrence of strong typhoons.

After typhoon Odette barreled through the Visayas and Mindanao, major telcos Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company, DITO Telecommunity and Globe Telecom announced that internet services were disrupted due to multiple fiber cable cuts. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)