Emergency maintenance work to be done on int’l cable system of PLDT, SKY Cable

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 23) - Two major telecommunications companies in the country will be affected by emergency maintenance activities on an international submarine cable system.

Telecommunications giant PLDT Inc. said on Thursday that the operator of the Asia-America Gateway will conduct maintenance work from 9 a.m. of Sept. 26 to 5 a.m. of Sept. 30. PLDT released the updated advisory after previously announcing that work on AAG would begin on Sept. 25.

However, while the company's operations will be affected, it assured customers that it has alternative cable systems and that measures, such as traffic rerouting and local caching, are in place to minimize disruption.

“We wish to assure our customers of continued connectivity, as we have alternative cable systems to keep our services going during this maintenance period of AAG,” PLDT said.

The country's largest telecom firm said it had been "substantially" investing in boosting the capacity of its cable systems to ensure services remained available to its customers, including those of its subsidiary Smart Communications, Inc.

“Should there be internet traffic spike beyond the traffic of the past weeks, some slowing down in the busiest hours for traffic going to Asia may be experienced, but no service will be denied, and internet traffic within the Philippines and to the US will not be impacted," the company added.

Also affected is Sky Cable, which has warned its Sky Fiber subscribers of an internet slowdown starting 8 a.m. of Sept. 25 to 5 a.m. of Sept. 30. Sky Cable said customers should expect slower connection when using social media, web browser and video streaming sites.

“We are working with our technology partners to minimize the effects of this activity to our subscribers,” it said.

Netizens expressed concern that the scheduled repair on the AAG would affect online schooling and productivity at work since most activities are now conducted virtually. In view of the announcement, a number of schools have announced the suspension of synchronous online learning during the maintenance period.