Meralco, the country's largest private electric distribution company, is getting into the broadband internet game. The company, which is chaired by Manny Pangilinan, is launching Red Broadband, an unlimited fiber broadband and pay TV service, through a partnership between its wholly owned subsidiary Radius Telecoms and Cignal TV. 

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According to a press statement, Radius Telecoms, Inc. is "the only telecommunications carrier in the Philippines that delivers services on an end-to-end fiber optic platform." It partnered with Cignal TV, a direct-to-home satellite provider, which is also controlled by Pangilinan through Mediaquest Holdings.

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Pangilinan, of course, also chairs PLDT, one of the country's largest telecommunications provider. 

Red Broadband will offer consumers fiber broadband and pay TV service through plans for as low as P1,299 per month.

Red Broadband is the latest broadband services provider to enter the market that has seen a surge in demand following government-mandated stay-at-home orders due to the coronavirus pandemic. Both PLDT and Globe reported reported sharp increases in their data and broadband services for the first nine months of 2020. PLDT's data and broadband revenues reached P90.8 billion, an increase of 18 percent from last year, while mobile internet and Home broadband rose 31 percent and 14 percent, respectively. Data and broadband accounted for 72 percent of PLDT's total service revenues.

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Globe, meanwhile, reported mobile data revenues at P53.4 billion in the same period, up from P52.1 billion from 2019, while Home broadband revenue reached P19.5 billion, up 22 percent from P16.1 billion last year. 

A third broadband internet provider, Converge ICT Solutions Inc., reported that its consolidated revenues from January to September grew 67 percent to P10.68 billion compared to the same period in 2019. The increase was mainly boosted by the company's home internet segment, which was up 90 percent.  

Still, the social media channels of all three companies have been beseiged by numerous complaints from customers, including spotty connections, service requests, installation follow-ups, and many other issues.

Time will tell if this new broadband internet company will be able to rise up to the challenge of providing decent, fast and reliable internet to more Filipinos. 

The company has yet to provide details on when it will commence services and how customers can apply for a connection.

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