Taiwan Earthquake shakes Philippine ISPs

I got a call from Caloy Conde this afternoon wanting to get my feedback about the recent connectivity issues across all networks due to the earthquake that shook Taiwan earlier. He was gonna write it for the New York Times and wanted to get “on-the-field” reports about how the connectivity issues have affected businesses and individuals who are dependent on the internet on a day to day basis.

Frankly, before that, I didn’t even know that the earthquake did manage to reach the Philippines “electronically”, i.e. affecting voice and data communications and though I have been experiencing spotty internet connections since the other day, it was only this afternoon that everything was unbearable. The phone lines were ok though text messages tend to get a bit delayed already.

At the moment, internet connection is spotty from both PLDT DSL, Smart Wifi and Smart 3G/GPRS. Others have texted me as well about it and shared the same observations. IMs are also up and down so chatting is out of the question.

From information I gathered from feedback by other people, looks like PLDT was hit the hardest while Bayantel is already back to normal.

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  • Blackberry service also went down since it requires an Internet connection between the local operators and RIM’s servers.

  • We’re with Globe Broadband and we also experienced slow down. Ironically, we’re running good with our back up SmartBro connection.

  • I wanted to post about it on PTB yesterday evening… except that my SmartBro connection was out *snicker*

  • zoegod

    Thats is why im Lagging on my CS games lately.
    Ive been complaining with my game mates recently now i understand why. hope things get up to normal soon. my speed went down to 100+kbps from 300+ kbps (smart Bro)

  • banana

    For the first time in 4 years, I’m am somewhat glad that I’m still on dial up, atleast I didn’t get affected by the slowdown! =P

  • ive been experiencing slowdowns until now. (dec 31) and have been using pldt dsl. does this means that pldt is still affected as of this time pa or hinde na related sa earthquake yung slowdown that im experiencing today?

  • sherwin

    if you’re a PLDT user, slowdown will probably be until the APCN2 cable is restored to operational state. If you’re on Globe, you’ll also have congestion/slowdown. If you’re with Bayantel or Digitel, you’ll probably experience some slowdown but not that slow as compared to PLDT since they get EAC cables as main but is also affected since they also have APCN2 and SMW3.

    some users will get slowdown, some users won’t such as enterprise/corporate users. depending on how each telco would handle the load, they might opt dsl users to get congested and corporate subs not. they can do bgp advertisements to their upstreams so that they’ll control traffic going in.

  • Happy new year!

    Looks like you got some inside info there…

    My little-known cable provider (Belltel iCable) shifted to Teleglobe. I think that’s via Bayantel. Normally they pass through IPVG, who I think bought the capacity of Reach (formerly PCCW HKT?) to HK.

  • Allan from England

    Yet again The Philippines is losing Billions of Dollars because of bad internet.
    My business is quite small but bring 200,000 peso into the Philippines everyday this disruption has lost that money and the knock on will last another six months.
    I also know of 2 call centres in Makati where both the bosses have took flights to India in the last few days to look to moving there when asked why he one replied how the hell can anyone run a business in this country with internet like this no one seems worried no one can give a time it will be back on and no one seems to give a sH*t about its customers.
    The other commented can you imagine what would happen in the UK if the whole country lost its internet, a state of emergency would be declared, the army the navy would be mobilized to get some sort of connection back.
    But in the Philippines its we can not tell you when it will be back to normal Sir.
    Does not seem to matter how much it’s costing the country it seems they think the internet is only for playing games, think again.
    This boss told me he hates to put 350 Filipinos out of work but he has no choice but to move out.
    A friend of mine that is high up at one of the worlds leading internet providers spoke to his bosses and got them to offer PLDT help they offered to fly in engineers and satellite equipment to get The Philippines back on line with in 36 hours speaking to PLDT on the Phone the reply they got was can you email us with your offer when he asked if they would get the email with no internet they replied no but as soon as we get back to normal we can deal with it.
    I have said for a long time its time to let foreign companies in to run your internet and stop this don’t care about customers only profit attitude of PLDT if they had competition they would care they would give good service and you would all be on speeds of 8mbs to 10mbs not on 512kps that to be honest is the dial up of 2007.

  • Sorry to hear the Globe/Innove stories here. I hope they could come up with an official story, and the resolution of course.

  • jay

    our company is also using pldt’s dsl service i usually ping the company’s mail server in germany for not more than 450ms but now it came up to 2050ms,we can’t send/recv mails, hope that normal connection will be restored as soon as possible 🙁

  • jmp

    our company is also using pldt’s dsl service i usually ping the company’s mail server in germany for not more than 450ms but now it came up to 2050ms,we can’t send/recv mails, hope that normal connection will be restored as soon as possible 🙁

  • I have to locations in Cebu on PLDT and and office in Manila, we experience slow downs from 26th, loss of IP phone connectivity since, IM’s down completely, we use Kiwitalk for IP, normally I blame them and at first could not understand what was going on until I spoke to others and tested bandwith in Cebu.

    How are companies like People support etc coping, they use IP routing for call’s and yes we had the same response from PLDT…

    Unfortunately it’s the Pinoy way of business as in many cases, of course its the Philippine “yes” which often means “I dont know” it will be fixed when they get around to it, in the mean time Im pretty sure half the nation just think they have a bad connection, my wife was told give it a week or so it should get better, it’s busy of Christmas !

    Un Real ! A golden opportunity awaits foreign investment, but then who would want to operate in the 3rd most corrupt country in the world, or invest – asside from that, I have nothing bad to say about the Philippines, I’m just glad all my egg’s are not in one basket and my core business is here in the UK where I have a choice.

    I’m hoping it’s gona atleast be fixed by 24th Jan, I’m flying in on business and need email access.

  • roger, canada

    I have been using a smart roaming number here in canada for quite sometime loading regularly as required to maintain it.After the Taiwan earthquake, my access was cut off and was partially restored after the New Years Day. I can finally receive text messages from globe communication subscribers thru my smart roaming number BUT NOT FROM SMART SUBSCRIBERS. I can send text messages from my local (canadian) cell phone to globe subscribers and it works BUT text messages for smart subscribers cannot be received. I have spoken to my providers here and the smart roaming partner(same company) and I was assured that their system works well. I had someone verified my number in one Smart Communication center and was told that my account is active and their system is working. Am I going to believe them and wait? Im confused and desperate for answer.
    Thank You.

  • With the service disruption, slow speed, (265 kbps) will there be a cancelation of charges or are the subscribers to pay for poor speed below what is promised by pldt as “an act of god” or will god pay!
    OZ allready pays much more than subscribers in Manila!

  • pls fix that problem as soon as posible my biznez is in bad situation. cause of pldt connection im using bayantel before and my biznez is good but when i use PLDT my biznez is not like before. cause of always disconnecting connection. customer service of PLDT not participate ihave many reports but no response come.tnx

  • J Brady

    Just my 2 cents.

    If that foreign ISP would come to the philippines, as Allan from England suggested, I’d be glad to switch providers. This country seriously needs “global competition”.

    However, that Chinese company mentioned that they were planning to upgrade the region’s data cables from MB/S to TerraB/s.

    Bottomline is – with competition, customers are bound to get more bang for their bucks.


  • mtlgr101

    the telcos suffered after the quake coz most of them were using links to the WWW that pass thru HK or JPN using the legacy sub cables of APCN2, APCN and SMW3.

    Asianetcom was able to restore global IP traffic in 10 hours. As a result, most of these local telcos rushed to Asianetcom for very much needed capacity…..which helped Smart, PLDT, Digitel, ETPI and Bayantel

  • kate

    you smell and i dont know what your on about,, *sticks middle finger up* loser.