From students to workers: How Converge’s nationwide internet outage affected Filipinos

November 17, 2020 - 6:33 PM
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Computer user
Stock photo of a person using a computer. (Pixabay/user hitesh0141)

Internet service provider Converge ICT became the most talked about topic on local Twitter Tuesday afternoon as subscribers reported of losing their internet connection while studying and working from home amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The telecommunications company said that it is experiencing issues with its “Data Center” that has affected users of the broadband service nationwide at 1:10 p.m.

“Our technical team is already working to resolve the issue in the soonest possible time and have your connection restored. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused,” part of its advisory released at 1:59 p.m. on its Facebook page reads.

The broadband service said that its subscribers do not need a “subscription ticket” for the outage.

Converge's November 17 advisory
Converge ICT’s advisory on nationwide outage on Nov. 17, 2020. (Photo from Converge ICT Support via Facebook)

Converge CEO Dennis Anthony Uy in an interview said that it was related to a “power issue.”

The loss of the internet connection prompted the broadband service to land on the top trending list of local Twitter as Filipinos shared how the outage has connected them, especially those who are actively studying and working from home.

(Screenshot by Interaksyon)

“Lol (laughing out loud) exams postponed again due (to) PH Internet connection’s incompetency. Thanks though #Converge for the instant acad break,” a Twitter user shared.

“Converge really said we stand with the students, academic break now! Charot,” a Twitter micro-influencer wrote with a frustrated emoji.

“Converge really said ACADEMIC BREAK in the middle of class huh,” wrote another online user.

Groups and students have been urging educational institutions to declare an “academic break” in light of the recent typhoons that have affected parts of Luzon, including Metro Manila.

ALSO READ: ‘Academic freeze’ calls and distance learning woes: How students and teachers are responding to the challenge

Commission on Higher Education Chairperson Prospero De Vera III said that it is up to the respective schools to adjust their calendars and decide to suspend classes depending on the impact of the disaster in their areas.

Meanwhile, Converge’s outage has affected Filipinos working from home, particularly non-essential workers who heavily rely on internet connection to fulfill their duties.

“Edi wow Converge. 1 week akong naka-leave sa work dahil sa baha ta’s kung kelan balik WFH na ko bukas, saka kayo magloloko. Nako, nako,” a Twitter user wrote with a frustrated emoji.

“I’m in WFH arrangement, then @Converge_CSU outage happened. Leave na naman. Hahahays,” wrote another online user with a facepalm and crying emojis.

“Converge, nagtatrabaho ako (nang) maayos dito. Balik mo na internet, parang awa mo na,” a different Twitter user wrote.

ABS-CBN News social media editor Erik Tenedero likewise lamented the outage.

“Nationwide outage! This is frustrating, Converge. Most of us are working from home, so what are we going to do now?” he tweeted.

Since the government imposed lockdown measures in a bid to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 last March, workers have been encouraged to report remotely or from their homes, especially those who do not need to report on-site.

This has prompted some Filipinos to heavily rely on their internet connections at home to do their duties, particularly non-essential workers.

Converge considers itself as the country’s “fastest growing pure end-to-end fiber internet service provider.”

Last month, Sen. Risa Hontiveros shared of writing a letter to the company as the reliance on internet intensifies amid a pandemic.

“Lalo na sa ganitong panahon, I expect all internet service providers to honor their commitment to their customers and their hard-earned money,” she tweeted before.

Converge previously said that it has deployed 34 broadband remote access server systems throughout Luzon “to help enhance customer internet experience as it increases reliability and decreases latency,” according to a release.

It said that such types of equipment are deployed in a geographically distributed architecture to avoid a single point of failure. In addition, maintenance and optimization can be done more efficiently, according to the ISP.