Telstra teams up with Meralco for Gigabit Internet-over-Powerline
While the negotiations between San Miguel Corporation and telstra broke down a couple weeks ago, the Australian telecoms giant was apparently talking to another local player for a possible joint venture. The local partner is Meralco and the two are planning to put up a telecoms service, primarily mobile internet and broadband, by end of August 2016.
The joint-venture will harness the existing infrastructure of Meralco and use existing powerlines to distribute mobile and internet services across the Philippines.
“Meralco is in the better position to roll-out wireless service and broadband internet to the Filipino consumers due to its massive distribution network already in place”, according to Andy Penn, Telstra CEO.
The initial roll-out will include Gigabit internet to the home using the same power lines currently running from the NGCP (National Grid Corporation of the Philippines) towers down to the electric poles of baranggays and subdivisions.
That means all residential areas currently hooked up to Meralco can sign up for the Gigabit internet almost immediately.
A Spark lightbulb with built-in WiFi router will be provided for each new subscription. All the subscriber needs to do is plug it to any existing socket in the house and Gigabit WiFi will be immediately activated. An additional Php1,999 per Spark bulb will be charged if a subscriber needs more bulbs for bigger houses.
All connections will be set at 1Gbps to the home but the cost will be based on the amount of bandwidth consumed. The rates will be the same as the prevailing electric rates in the respective area.
For example, in Makati the rate was Php 7.4176/kwh for February 2016. This means the rate for the Gigabit internet will also be Php7.4176/GB. If you consume 100GB a month, your internet bill will be Php741.76. Meralco is imposing this scheme since its power consumers are already familiar with the rate system for electricity and adopting the same for internet makes it easily understandable.
Initial roll-out will be in stages, starting with Makati, Pasig, Pasay, Mandaluyong, Manila and Quezon City sometime in August with the rest of Metro Manila by end of December. Meralco will be working a domestic partnership with other electric distribution companies outside of Metro Manila to be able to offer this service by 1st quarter of 2017.
Earlier this year, news broke out that the negotiations between Telstra and San Miguel have ceased due to some commercial disagreements. We made some guesses as to the reasons why here.