My permanent, retirement home is in Olongapo City, Philippines. It’s on the outskirts of the city, not in the downtown area. My wife, Josie, and I moved there in April of 2006 and we had our house built in the Santa Rita barangay (a suburb in the subdivision). Broadband Internet wasn’t even available to me until after the house was built. Before that, I had to use prepaid dial-up cards to get online.
Broadband Internet 2006 to 2010
From November of 2006 until December of 2010, I had DSL Internet provided by Subic Telecommunications (Subictel). The highest broadband internet connection speed available to me at first was 512 kbps. It gradually increased to almost 2 Mbps by 2010.
Subictel was bought out by the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) at some point before 2010, but I don’t know when. It was after they bought out the Philippine Telephone Company, a separate company with a similar sounding name.
PLDT was supposed to migrate my service in August of 2010, when I signed the paperwork for it. The monthly amount I paid for DSL from Subictel was 2500 pesos. An increase to 3000 pesos was supposed to get me 3 Mbps with PLDT. The migration finally took place in December and I did indeed get 3 Mbps.
Broadband Internet from 2010 to 2013
At some point during this period, a representative at PLDT told me I could increase my download speed to 5 Mbps at no cost. I couldn’t do it because Josie was in the United States and everything was in her name. I’m sure I’ll be able to get it when we get back to the Philippines, but I’m willing to bet it will come at an increased cost.
I disconnected the DSL modem from the telephone line before I left the country in July of 2013. A sister-in-law’s husband turned everything in after I arrived in Phoenix because I had to get copies of all Josie’s identification documents and send them to him. Oh, and a letter from her to them authorizing him to have the DSL and the regular telephone service turned off.
Other Broadband Internet Services Available in Olongapo
From 2006 through 2012, I investigated other broadband Internet choices available specific to the area I lived in. Smart Communications and Globe Telecommunications offered Wi-Fi Internet, but they were’t any cheaper than PLDT’s DSL. They weren’t even close to being as reliable as DSL.
A sister-in-law had Globe Wi-Fi for a few months, but the signal was weak even when it wasn’t raining. When it was raining, the signal was nonexistent. Considering it rains off and on throughout the year and almost daily during the rainy season, it wasn’t worth the cost. In 2011 or 2012, she got the same DSL service I did but at only 1 Mbps. I can tell because Josie often talks to her on Skype and the video always lags, if it isn’t blurry.
I was told that cable Internet would be available in 2007 through Colorview CATV. When I left in July of 2013, it still wasn’t available in my area. It may be available now because Colorview upgraded the entire area to digital a couple of months ago. I won’t use it when I return to the Philippines, even if it is available. We suffered through many cable TV outages over the years, without cable Internet being involved. I don’t trust them to have cable Internet available any more than cable TV.
Broadband Internet in Phoenix
I’m living in Phoenix, Arizona, now but it’s only a temporary stay. I came back to take care of personal matters, some of which I’ll probably mention later on.
It’s a story in itself, so I’ll dedicate my next article to it instead of turning this one into a mini-novel.
[Photo Attribution: Surf the Internet, Public Domain]