We are subscribed to both PLDT Home Fibr and Converge ICT Solutions at our HQ. We enjoy the benefits of the points they are good at: PLDT for speed consistency and reliability; and Converge for better latency when playing games .
Each company has its own strengths and weaknesses, but Converge has been gaining ground lately as they are seen by some Filipinos as the supposed redeemer in the state of internet connection in the Philippines. Things got pretty intense when consumers started complaining about frequent disconnections and speed inconsistencies. As one of the commenters at Outage Report said, “Victims of their own success? Now competing with Globe & PLDT on metrics that they should have been trying to use as differentiators, like ‘Poor Customer Service’, ‘Lack of transparency’, ‘Downtime Percentage’, ‘Customer Avoidance’, ‘Unplanned Maintenance’…”. We hope not.
At the time of this writing, Converge received 125 reports, originating from General Trias, Carmona, Quezon City, Tarlac City, Alasas and 17 more cities based on the data presented at Outage Report. It is a different case for PLDT as they received 99 reports, originating from Bacoor, Carmona, Quezon City, Sampaloc, Tarlac City and 24 more cities. It is good to note that PLDT has wider coverage and market share compared to Converge, and yet they have the least outage report within the last 10 hours. Still, neither one of them is perfect, but let’s all hope that both of them are trying their best to properly serve their consumers.
Something’s special about this March for Converge, and they seem to be mum about it. Yes, outage reports are quite intermittent for PLDT and there are various reasons attributed to it. Fiber lines are so intricate and complicated to maintain. I remember when our Fibr line in Cabanatuan got cut off because a mouse snacked a portion of our fiber optic line. However, in the case of Converge, I just can’t seem to understand the seeming “scheduled” outages. Is converge performing unannounced maintenance of their fiber infrastructure?
I reached out to Converge via their Marketing Team, but I haven’t received a reply from them.
Update (03/14/2019): “Primarily it was caused by multiple fiber cut in areas in Clark to Valenzuela due to the road constructions and water pipeline installation. Tight coordination ang Network and Engineering team anytime na may fiber cut ulet,” according to Sandra Tubale-Dingal, Segment Marketing Manager – Consumer at Converge ICT Solutions, Inc.
We are currently monitoring this issue and came with the following insights:
- Converge posted outage PSA’s at their Facebook support page, but the scheduled resolutions usually moved and were inconsistent.
- Replies to consumer concerns are not prompt. This is likely a coordination issue between the customer response team and their technical team.
- Changing DNS setting to 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52, or 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11 usually fixes the issue.
- According to one of the commenters at Outage Report, he received a message last week that there will be maintenance work on Monday (March 4) to migrate to new facility. We experienced the same outage during that day, but I didn’t receive the same text message.
- A quick look at Stack Exchange can help identify if the problem is on the side of your ISP or not:
- Ping an IP in your provider’s network. If you can’t find one that’s publicly listed, or the helpdesk won’t give you one, do a traceroute to something in the internet, and use the second or third hop. This confirms that routing between you and your ISP is configured correctly.
- Ping an internet IP. I normally use 18.104.22.168, one of Level3’s DNS servers that is easily remembered. This confirms that routing from your ISP to the specific IP you’ve pinged is correctly configured.
This is a developing issue at the time of this writing. We’ll try to update this as often as we could, because like you and me, we are consumers. We just have a slight advantage as we have both fiber connections at our HQ. This conveniently allows us to give you updates – consumers to consumers. And to answer the question if Converge is beginning to become a victim of their own success: again, I hope not. Converge still has a lot to prove, in the first place; and there’s a tall order for them to get better.