Converge will be more prepared for lockdowns this year according to the senior strategist

Converge ICT Solutions, Inc., a listed fiber broadband provider, said it is better prepared for this year’s harsher lockdowns than last year, with measures in place to assure the network’s ongoing expansion.

“I believe we are now much better prepared. Converge Chief Strategy Officer Benjamin Rex E. Azada stated at an online conference held by the Economic Journalists Association of the Philippines on Wednesday, “We now know how to go to homeowners’ groups (and) LGUs (local government units) to secure permits.”

“It’s a lot better in certain locations. “There are still issues in some places,” he noted.

Last year, the implementation of more substantial community quarantine restrictions impeded Converge’s installation and repair efforts, according to Mr. Azada.

In July, the Anti-Red Tape Authority announced that it was considering introducing new guidelines to expedite permits for telecom underground construction.

A draft joint memorandum circular, according to the agency, could speed up pole installation, excavation for underground fiber ducts, and the attachment of aerial and subsurface broadband cables to physical infrastructure.

“We believe that the trend [or] momentum for our business continues to be there, especially in the residential area,” Mr. Azada said of Converge’s expansion.

He stated, “We continue to feel that the market for telecommunications services, particularly fixed broadband [or] dependable high-speed internet, is extremely underserved.”

“Fiber penetration was just a little more than 10% last year, so Converge and other players have a lot of room to grow. There’s a lot of… demand, and all the players need to do now is give it their all.”

Converge’s attributable net income nearly tripled to P1.55 billion in the first three months of the year, compared to P573.60 million in the same period last year.

Total sales, including contributions from the residential and enterprise categories, climbed by 83.2 percent to P5.55 billion in the first quarter of 2020 from P3.03 billion.

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