Philippine internet

Globe vs PLDT vs Converge ICT: Our experience so far

In Business by Ramon Lopez34 Comments

FAST wired internet is already available in the Philippines, with Globe Telecom and PLDT, the country’s telecom duopoly, stepping forward with their respective fiber-powered offers. Then there’s Converge ICT, a relatively new — and unproven — option for residential owners.

(Update, October 21, 2017: Sky now offers fiber-internet plans. Check out PLDT vs Globe vs Converge vs Sky: Fiber-internet plans available.)

And since coming out with a story detailing each service provider’s offers or plans, we’ve received numerous questions from curious readers wanting to know which fiber-internet plan to sign up for. So, to answer those questions, we’re sharing with you our experience with each telco.

Bear in mind, however, that our experience with Converge is limited, but for a reason we’ll get to in a moment.

We got our first taste of living the “fiber life” in Mandaluyong City in 2015. Back then, affordable fiber internet has yet to get some traction, so customers were few and there was a general sense of skepticism around fiber-based networks.

Is it really as fast as advertised? Is there a hard cap on how much data one can use? More importantly: Could it get slower over time? You know, the same questions we collectively kicked around at the onset of the transition to DSL internet.

The risk-takers we are, we jumped the gun and hoped for the best. It turned out to be one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. As a fiber-internet provider, we had zero issues with Globe. Our application was processed quickly. In the same week that we called Globe’s hotline to inquire, our 50Mbps connection with no data cap was live. No waiting for days for the line to be activated.

Our network speed sat at a nice 50Mbps, give or take, regardless of the time of day. Connection issues were rare, and we can’t remember a time when the line was down for more than a few minutes. Another perk: We got a free membership to NBA League Pass every month. There were other bonuses, but nothing topped the convenience of watching NBA games live or on demand on just about any device.

Since moving to Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City in 2016, our experience has been equally trouble-free.

Our experience in Mandaluyong and BGC has been different from our experience in the north, where our parents reside and where our furbabies have been staying since April. Globe couldn’t provide us with the same 50Mbps connection we have enjoyed over the past years in the area, and PLDT Fibr was our only option. So we conceded. 

The application and installation process took a lot longer than we had anticipated. It took PLDT a month to hook us up with a 50Mbps connection without a cap. Others had to wait longer, we’ve been told. Yikes. 

And application can be a pain in the you-know-what. We were initially told that fiber internet wasn’t available in our neighborhood yet, but we got a completely different response after visiting a PLDT store nearby. On the same day, mind you. Moral of the story: Drop by a store to speak to someone who can give you a definitive answer. 

At P2,899 ($58) monthly, our current line is also a bit more expensive than the previous one (Plan 2499 or $50), but we get twice the speed for uploads (also 50Mbps), so it’s all good. As for the service, it’s borderline okay. We get plenty of interruptions throughout the week, sometimes throughout the day. Download speeds can be all over the place, too. We’ve never experienced these sorts of problems with our Globe connection — and we have free League Pass codes to boot. 

Long story short, it’s far from ideal, but when our PLDT connection is working well, we’re getting the speeds we’re paying for. Hopefully, things stay that way.

Before calling PLDT’s hotline, we sent multiple emails and messages to the company. We even completed a contact form on Converge’s official site. Both to no avail. It’s been three months, and we have yet to hear from the company. We shudder to think what might have happened if we had gone further down that path.

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Ramon Lopez

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Reviews editor: Ramon "Monch" Lopez has 16 years of professional experience creating and editing content for print and digital publications such as Yahoo. He headed the gadgets-merchandising division of one of the Philippines’ largest retail operators somewhere in between.