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Digitel Pulls Out, PLDT Takes Over

Digital Telecommunications, Inc. (Digitel) ends its limited, unsatisfactory service in the capital town today (Aug. 15) as giant Philippine Long Distance Telecommunications (PLDT) takes over its facilities.

According to Magnesia del Norte barangay chairman Juan Arador, the lone Digitel employee left behind after Digitel’s cashier was brought to the mainland, there will be no cut-off in telecommunications services which he said will be eventually improved by the new management. He informed that a team from PLDT inspected the facility in October last year, with the building and its equipment set to undergo upgrading first.

Local businessmen and government offices were alarmed after a Digitel official called the DTI and several subscribers to inform that the company would be pulling out of Virac after finding its operation in the capital town as “not viable.” The company used to have a considerable number of subscribers despite the widespread use of cellular phones but typhoon Reming brought down its lines and telephone poles in 2006, with the company deciding against costly rehabilitation.

The report of Digitel’s pull-out sufficiently alarmed the business sector that it appealed to Bayan Telecommunications and Globe Telecom to consider the possibility of providing telephone or fixed-line services in Virac to boost the island’s capability to communicate and reach out domestically and globally.

Signed by officials of various trade and sectoral groups headed by Bishop Manolo delos Santos and PSMEDC chair Rene Abella, the appeal stressed the importance of land lines for national offices, local offices, banks, businesses and private subscribers in making reliable yet inexpensive calls and internet connections as well as fax communication which cannot be done using mobile phones. Some local banks are known to be dependent on Digitel’s web connection for their on-line transactions, the petitioners stated.

Catanduanes Tribune

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