A Summary of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company

Topics: Metro Manila, Cities in the Philippines, Philippines Pages: 20 (4553 words) Published: January 29, 2013
PLDT will be the preferred full service provider of voice, video and data at the most attractive levels of price, service quality, content and coverage, thereby bringing maximum benefit to the Company's stakeholders.

Founded on November 28, 1928, Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) is the leading telecommunications provider in the Philippines. Through its three principal business groups - fixed line, wireless, and information and communication technology - PLDT offers the largest and most diversified range of telecommunications services across the Philippines’ most extensive fiber optic backbone and fixed line, cellular and satellite networks. PLDT is listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE:TEL) and its American Depositary Shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:PHI). PLDT has one of the largest market capitalizations among Philippine-listed companies. 


The beginning
When PLDT was incorporated and given the franchise to establish and operate telephone services in the country on November 28, 1928, a typhoon had just ravaged Eastern Visayas, Bicol Peninsula, and Samar. The ability to communicate amongst loved ones and across the country became crucial. Sadly, phone networks then were like disconnected intercom systems and you could only call people within your own small city. Filipinos were disconnected from neighboring towns, disconnected from friends in the other island and, needless to say, disconnected from the rest of the world. It was under this scenario that the law was signed giving birth to PLDT. What the new law hoped to achieve was to interconnect these "intercom" systems into a seamless nationwide network that would facilitate communication and delivery of services to the people, as well as spur economic development in the countryside. The first president of PLDT was Theodore Vail Halsey while Major J.E. Hamilton Stevenot, who represented the American firm General Telephone and Electronics Corp. (GTE), was elected executive vice president and general manager. Under the American owners of PLDT, many small phone companies in the provinces were acquired by the Company to help speed up the rollout and connection of these different phone systems all over the country. The management of PLDT was then set to lay the groundwork towards linking Filipinos to each other and, more importantly, to the world.

Manila-Baguio link
Just a year after PLDT was given its nationwide franchise, the link between Manila and Baguio was established, making the first national long distance calls possible. Overseas radio-telephone service was also established between the Philippines and the US and other parts of the world in 1933. The first network of PLDT employed the open-wire system that was difficult to maintain and vulnerable to rain, winds, dirt, and tampering. Horse-drawn service vehicles bulky wall-mounted telephones were employed in those times. PLDT then charged a  sum of P7.50 a month. The war years in the 1940's that followed proved to be devastating to PLDT as the US armed forces destroyed the PLDT system to prevent the Japanese from using it in 1941. By the time the Americans regained control, only 10 percent of the original facilities were operational.

Filipinos take control
By 1968, a new era of PLDT leadership was ushered in, PLDT finally became a Filipino-controlled corporation when Ramon Cojuangco and his group of Filipino industrialists and businessmen bought the controlling stake of GTE of New York. It was a symbol of national pride and a moment of triumph for Filipinos. Under Cojuangco's leadership, PLDT embarked on ambitious expansion campaigns that led to more Filipinos owning and benefiting from phones. Several milestones were realized in Cojuangco's time. In the same year when his group came in, the first major television broadcast via the facilities of Intelsat II-F4 and PLDT was brought to the...
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