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The unseen frontliners that keep the networks up and running




The 30-day Luzon-wide community quarantine has taught us a lot of things and it made us appreciate how important our frontliners are until we really experience it.

There’s the health workers who are front-and-center in our collective fight against COVID-19, the delivery crew and supermarket attendants that keeps the store shelves on stock so we don’t ran out of food and essentials, the drug stores that need to be kept open, the BPO employees, the restaurants that continue to provide takeout or food deliveries as well as all the other people that continue to keep our utilities running — electricity, gas, water, and telecommunications.


Two members of Globe’s network operations team climbing a microwave antenna to improve signal level.

“This is the biggest challenge for us so far. With typhoons, we can see the damage, assess if restoration works are possible or not, and plan how to attack and solve the problem. Covid-19 keeps us blind, not knowing if it will hit us or not,” said Reden Jobil, Globe Sr. Network Operations Engineer.

Reden is part of the critical skeletal force composed of installers, repairmen, network engineers, and other personnel who relentlessly work to keep telecommunications facilities running and the country connected despite the virus threat. They are the nation’s unsung heroes.


Globe network personnel checking and ensuring serving cells are working in Congress

With most people staying at home and avoiding being infected, network usage is at an all-time high. YouTube has announced it is putting SD quality videos as the default playback settings worldwide for an entire month.

The NTC has also requested Netflix to manage the bitrates of streaming movies to help free up bandwidth for the entire duration of the quarantine.

The NTC says that the “measure will help free-up bandwidth as the increased demand by subscribers may risk overloading network capacity during the quarantine period. Data consumption is expected to surge due to the work from home arrangements as well as increased government, private and education demands.”

Data connectivity is necessary for WFH employees, students who need to continue with their lessons, hospitals to communicate with doctors and patients, and even for national and local government to run.

Thus, telecom companies continue to deploy their critical skeletal force so that those at home may remain productive, connected, and informed. These are people we often take for granted but they continue to go to work in the field, despite the threat, so that all of us can enjoy our Netflix and chill.

Next time they visit your home in order to fix your internet problems, don’t forget to thank them.



Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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