Our Community, Our Responsibility | Parasat rolls out cheaper, faster internet plans

July 9, 2021

In celebration of its 31st Year of Service as Mindanao’s Pioneer Premier Cable TV and Internet Service Provider (ISP), Parasat Cable TV Inc. rolls out starting July 15, 2021, its new F.A.B. (Faster Affordable Broadband) Plans  which are much cheaper yet faster internet plans bundled with an unprecedented number of cable TV channels you won’t find elsewhere. “Basically, our long awaited "Faster Affordable Bundles" (or FAB) are new packages which are very competitive to current internet only plans sold by PLDT and Globe,” said Engr. Elpidio M. Paras, president and CEO. “We actually brought down  the rates and increased the speeds to address the perennial demands of customers for faster and more affordable, yet reliable internet services.” Our Community, Our Responsibility Paras said they FAB plans were conceptualized in response to the vastly increased demand for the internet as a basic need for education, work, communication, information, business, news and entertainment, and the cry of subscribers for faster and more reliable connectivity at affordable rates. “Unlike the past decade, internet service speeds have largely been very slow and expensive. Parasat intends to break that barrier with very affordable bundled plans which include Cable TV programming at no additional cost to internet subscriptions,” Paras said.  With the covid-19 crisis affecting face-to-face classes in all levels, online education has now become the new norm. The demand for affordable internet especially from the public-school sector has never been more pronounced during this pandemic, he added. Free Upgrades The best part of Parasat’s Community Social Responsibility (CSR) is its speed BOOST program which increased internet speeds for existing customers by as much as 300% (up to 3 times) depending on the particular plans. “For example, during the last two weeks, customers subscribed to a 3mbps plan now get 10mbps (which is boosted by at least 300%),” Paras disclosed. Parasat also plans another Speed Boost for all previous plans so current customers whether in HFC or Parafiber networks, can now level up with new plans. In this way, old Parasat internet customers would enjoy faster speeds proportionate to their current contracts. Current customers can also opt to recontract their cable and internet bundle based on the new plans without additional charges. Parasat uses two redundant network infrastructures , Parasat HFC (its legacy hybrid fiber co-axial cable network) and Parafiber (its pure fiber delivery network using FTTH, (Fiber-To-The- Home technology). It is also now rolling out its FTTH  infrastructure to its other service areas outside Cagayan de Oro. Discounted Faster Internet Parasat which pioneered its highly successful PISONET plan three years ago, provided cable customers with a lifeline 1 Mbps plan for an additional one (1) Peso. Unfortunately in today’s environment, that kind of speed  could not be usable for online meetings like Zoom and other solutions. Parasat HFC’s P699 plan now provides unlimited 8mbps at only P200 more than the original Pisonet Plan(w/ Starter Cable 56 channels). “This kind of pricing program  is definitely cheaper and more convenient for those using prepaid load for their children’s online classes,” Paras noted.   “Parasat’s WiFi enabled cable/fiber modems allow multiple users per plan. Parasat commits to provide its current and new customers better choices which are very competitive to current “internet only” plans sold by its competitors,” he stressed. The Cable ISP also dropped the price of its 15mbps Work from Home plan by 54% from P2149/month to only P999/month. For families with multiple users and doing online selling, the new P1499 and P1999 plans gives them a whopping 40Mbps/70Mbps with a limited budget. Plans from 100Mbps to 300Mbps are also available for Small Business users and heavy downloaders of videos and games. How We Did It To bring its bandwidth costs down,  Parasat Cable actually acquired multiple routes from bulk  bandwidth Telco providers in order to have a resilient and reliable internet distribution network covering most of Cagayan de Oro barangays; Misamis Oriental towns Opol, Alubijid, Laguindingan, Libertad and El Salvador City to the west; Tagoloan, Villanueva, Jasaan and Balingasag to the East; Manolo Fortich, Malaybalay and Valencia Cities in Bukidnon province.  The company now has enough bandwidth capacity to service its current and new customers under the new speed requirements.  In this day and age of unrestrained demand for Social Media, the company also acquired equipment and technology which allows for a faster connectivity to the likes of Google, YouTube, Facebook and Netflix. The state-of-the-art content servers in the data center, now enable users a low latency (below 5 milliseconds) connection to these major content sources, resulting in decreased buffering of videos and movies and a satisfying viewing experience for the customer. Internet Overdrive PARASAT Parafiber brand for  its Fiber To The Home (FTTH) network now covers major areas of the city from Bugo to Iponan and the Uptown areas.  The fiber optic  plant can now service business or institutional customers for speeds up to 1Gbps (1000Mbps) and provide special  business users who demand reliable point-to-point  fiber connectivity to as high as 10Gbps. It is currently embarking on a large scale upgrading of its FTTH network citywide to cover most of its franchise areas within the year.  Parasat also upgraded its legacy Hybrid Fiber Coax (HFC) network to be compliant with DOCSIS (Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification) version 3.1; which will eventually be as efficient as fiber technology in providing internet connectivity. This HFC upgrade will allow current coax cable customers to access speeds up to 300Mbps from a previous 50 mbps limit. More Value for Money Unlike other CATV providers, Parasat Cable  leverages its being a cable operator to bundle cable tv programs with its Parafiber and Parasat HFC internet brands, thus giving customers one solution in delivering traditional TV entertainment and internet based new communication and media platforms. “Having one unified billing system for both cable and internet coupled with multiple modes for payment like online banking, GCash, ECpay and the like, with several payment offices in different locations , is definitely a big advantage for Parasat HFC/Parafiber customers,” Paras points out. To date, Parasat has branches in Cruz Taal, Corrales, Bugo, Centrio, Limketkai, Puerto, Villanueva, Balingasag, Manolo Fortich, Malaybalay, including the recently opened Uptown branch along Masterson Ave. Parasat currently operates in the key cities of Cagayan de Oro, Malaybalay, Bukidnon, San Carlos, Negros Occidental , several towns in Misamis Oriental and Bukidnon, as well as with strategic partners in other areas such as Valencia City, Bukidnon.

Data Science, AI to accelerate Aboitiz businesses’ growth

February 1, 2021

The Aboitiz Group is fully embracing the use of digital technology, pushing for further innovation, a change in the way that it operates its various businesses through the use of data-driven solutions and Artificial Intelligence. For a hundred year-old company that has witnessed how technology has progressed from the beginning of the 20th century to what it is today, Aboitiz has no plans on stopping.  “Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (DSAI) are transformative capabilities that will accelerate the Aboitiz Group’s productivity, drive business value, and open up new revenue streams,” Aboitiz Group president and CEO Sabin M. Aboitiz said. A strong advocate of innovation, Aboitiz believes that DSAI will become a permanent aspect of the business landscape of each of the conglomerate’s strategic business units (BU),  to develop and support its business models and decision-making capabilities. Aboitiz also recognizes the potential of the data science workforce as it reorganized its DSAI talents across the group. “This new structure helps create a better alignment of standards, processes, and policies, within the Group and, at the same time, moves us closer to our DSAI ambitions by nurturing our  Aboitiz talent through experience and exposure in our different businesses,” Aboitiz shared.  The company formed working groups on Data Governance, Data Science, and Innovation, which will serve as avenues for alignment, consultation, and discussions  to maximize and optimize the reuse of DSAI solutions, knowledge, and source sharing among SBUs. At its helm is global data science expert Dr. David R. Hardoon, UnionBank Senior Advisor for Data and AI and Aboitiz Group Data Committee Chairman. “DSAI is a core differentiator enabling organisations to flourish digitally. Our focus within the Group is to innovate and systematically operationalise DSAI benefits for all BUs in areas such as customer engagement, operations and in materialising ESG (Environmental, Social, and  Corporate Governance) goals, ” Dr. Hardoon said. DSAI across business units Banking and Financial  Services Aboitiz banking subsidiary Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) pioneered in leveraging DSAI in banking solutions as part of its digital transformation. The bank saw a surge in digital banking transactions over the years due to evolving consumer behavior. And with the lockdowns brought about by the pandemic, consumers were forced to embrace digital banking. In 2019, UnionBank encouraged aspiring data scientists to elevate the profession with the launch of its own Data Science and Artificial Intelligence Institute, which is aimed at producing and nurturing big data professionals to help usher innovations at the bank.  To date, more than 65 future data scientists are part of a learning program that covers data processing, programming visualization, analysis and mining, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. PETNET, a financial services unit under UnionBank, has one goal in mind: ensure that team members are data-driven and analytically capable in running the business. Hence, the company formed a Data Analytics team which will help in reading trends and drawing insights to make data-driven and informed decisions to provide better customer service. Power For the Aboitiz Group’s energy arm, Aboitiz Power Corporation (AboitizPower), DSAI will play an integral role in driving the company’s 10-year growth strategy. This is to address the energy trilemma of the availability, cost-efficiency, and sustainability of the country’s energy supply. DSAI will be a key component of AboitizPower’s 1AP Digital Strategy, called DigitaLeap, which aims  to implement several initiatives as part of its digital transformation. These include  remote plant operations, convergence of information and operational technologies, next-generation energy trading capabilities, and advanced metering infrastructure, among others. Food For its DSAI implementation, the Food Group built a tool called Analytics Central ー a one-stop portal that not only addresses ease of access to data-driven solutions, but also data security by using a double-layer solution.  Current applications available in the tool are Pilmico’s retail meat shop “The Good Meat,” the Food Group Covid-19 Health Pass, Feeds and Farm Division’s operational dashboards, and budget presentation for management meetings. Infrastructure Meantime, Aboitiz cement manufacturing unit Republic Cement & Building Materials, Inc. (Republic Cement), sees the value of DSAI in operations planning and optimization of production costs. The precision that data science offers will not only provide Republic Cement with data-driven insights but also allows it to remain steadfast in delivering consistent and high-quality products for the Philippine market. Republic Cement teamed up with UnionBank’s Data Solutions Team to create a tool that predicts cement quality based on historical chemical concentration combinations. It helps operators and quality managers optimize concentrations of raw materials and efficiently save time, resulting in better resource management and increased operational efficiency. Land Real estate unit AboitizLand is jumpstarting its journey into DSAI as it prioritizes providing better services to its customers. The launch of its contactless homebuying campaign at the onset of the pandemic marked its successful pivot into the digital sphere.  The company recently teamed up with UnionBank for an improved customer profiling system and a predictive model that will detect construction delays. Also in the pipeline is the update of its Sales and Vecino Portal for a smoother end-to-end home-buying process making it easier for buyers to reserve units, track payments made, monitor construction milestones and easily apply for a housing loan.


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