In the “New Normal,” a lot of things have changed, even the need for connectivity has changed drastically, what with the new Work-From-Home (WFH) and Learn-From-Home (LFH) needs of many Filipinos.
Thus, PLDT and its wireless unit Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) saw the need to bolster the connectivity of towns like that of Talavera in Nueva Ecija for them to cope ably with the “New Normal.”
The telco partnered with the local government unit (LGU) of Talavera in Nueva Ecija to provide the town with fast, reliable and secure WiFi covering Talavera’s plaza and municipal hall, as well as deploying fiber connectivity in the LGU’s vaccination center.
Smart has also previously activated Smart Infocast, a web-based text broadcasting solution, to help the LGU disseminate information among its constituents. To support this, Smart has also donated 5,000 SIM cards to the LGU.
Smart is also supporting Talavera’s shift to online learning by giving Smart Bro Pocket Wifi units to faculty and scholars. Forty students chosen by the LGU have also received SIMs and load subsidies.
Smart has also been improving the mobile connectivity of Talavera’s officials through enterprise postpaid plans, while some of Talavera’s government offices are also on fiber plans.
“With Talavera’s partnership with PLDT and Smart, we are able to work together toward our shared vision of transforming Talavera into a Fiber City. Connectivity is so important these days, as more and more services go online: Teleconsultation, education, meetings, shopping, food deliveries–everything is already online, which is why it’s so important for a town like ours to have access to quality and reliable connectivity,” said Talavera Mayor Nerivi Santos-Martinez, who led the partnership ceremonies attended by PLDT and Smart representatives led by Smart AVP for Regional Customer Development – Luzon Leonides Nivado and and PLDT Enterprise AVP and Corporate Relationship Management Head Dennis Magbatoc.
“The Internet is also one of the keys to effective COVID response as it enables communication in the New Normal,” Santos-Martinez said, adding that aside from being Nueva Ecija’s biggest and most populous municipality, Talavera has also been consistently cited for being business-friendly, championing nutrition and agricultural programs, and delivering good governance.
“We are happy to empower the local government of Talavera in its pursuit to become a premier municipality in Nueva Ecija. In turn, Smart WiFi, our Smart 5G-ready SIMs, and the fastest mobile network in the Philippines, can empower Talavera and its constituents to pursue their dreams, allowing citizens to maximize the benefits of the Internet,” said Nivado, adding that Smart also supports Talavera’s efforts to create programs with social impact.
Magbatoc, on the other hand, highlighted how access to the Internet has become essential to all communities in this pandemic. “Today more than ever, it is clear that wide availability of Internet infrastructure and services is fundamental for resilient and strong societies,” Magbatoc said.
These efforts are aligned with Smart’s thrust in its “Live Smarter for a Better World” campaign, which elevates Smart’s long-running community partnership programs and enables “personal revolutions” that inspire lasting positive change through connectivity and CSR initiatives.
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.