Does Converge ICT Provide The Best Value For Your Money?
It has always been the standard feedback by any subscriber that the Internet in the Philippines is slow compared to neighboring countries such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and South Korea. However, if you look at broadband plans of most internet providers, you will notice that although most still offer 2Mbps or 3Mbps speeds at ₱999 to ₱1,299 a month, a number of them have been offering fiber internet.
The advent of fiber connection has given Filipinos another option since it can transfer a huge amount of data seamlessly and deliver speeds over longer distances without being susceptible to electromagnetic interference. Unfortunately, fiber connection with a high download speed could still cost an arm and a leg in the Philippines, from the prominent internet service providers.
Fortunately, one industry player, Converge ICT, is offering a connection of 25Mbps for ₱1,500 a month. Though only available in select areas, Converge ICT have changed the game in terms of price per Mbps.
Here’s a quick look at Converge ICT’s home fiber packages:
|Lowest package||Highest packages||Best for||Why we like it?||What’s the drawback|
|Plan 1500||Plan 7000||Online gamers, video conferencing users and online movie buffs||Currently the cheapest unlimited broadband in the market.||Limited coverage area. To date, their service is only limited to Metro Manila and some other parts of Luzon.|
Internet plans and packages
Converge’s major appeal is that their rates are cheaper for much faster speeds compared to other available broadband services in the country.
Converge ICT’s entry-level plan is called Plan 1500. It has a connection that can go up to 25Mbps (Megabits per second) for ₱1500 a month without a data cap. The plan is an upgrade from their older 20Mbps/₱1500 a month connection. Users who are already subscribed to the said plan will receive the 5Mbps boost to their connections.
Speed, pricing, and data cap
|FIBER X 1500||₱1,500||25 MBPS||NO DATA CAP|
|FIBER X 2500||₱1,500||75 MBPS||NO DATA CAP|
|FIBER X 3500||₱1,500||150 MBPS||NO DATA CAP|
For the higher-end home market, Converge launched FiberXtreme plans: 300Mbps/₱4500 a month and 500Mbps/₱7000 a month– all of which do not have a data cap.
|FIBER XTREME 4500||₱4500||300 MBPS||NO DATA CAP|
|FIBER X 7000||₱7000||500 MBPS||NO DATA CAP|
Unlike other ISPs, these plans have unlimited volume allowance, so you can definitely take advantage of the fiber speeds.
Service Coverage And Available Areas
Currently, the service area of Converge is only in Metro Manila and its immediate neighboring cities such as Cavite, Rizal, Pampanga, Laguna, Tarlac, and Zambales, with the farthest from Manila being Baguio up north and Batangas down south.
They plan to expand their services further to Nasugbu, San Fernando in La Union, and Batangas, many of which are still in Luzon. While cheaper, Converge is at a disadvantage in terms of its coverage area.
So far, it has laid out 6,000 kilometers of fiber optic reach in 2018, spending around ₱1.5 billion in expanding its broadband network in Luzon.
However, in 2019, they announced their plans to expand their service in Visayas and Mindanao regions by 2021.
To know if your location is covered, it is best to contact Converge ICT through email@example.com or visit their website at www.convergeict.com.
Installation and cancellation
All plans of FiberX and FiberXtreme are subject to ₱2,500 installation fee, an advance security deposit of ₱1,500, and a lock-in period of 24 months. And, just like other ISPs, they have a disclaimer: they promise 30% minimum speed at 80% service reliability, which means the average speed that you’ll get is 30% to 80% of their advertised speed.
|Early contract termination penalty (under 24 months contract)||You will be billed for the full amount of the remaining months of your contract.|
|Other Fees: Advance security deposit||₱1,500|
Take note that if you desire to rescind your contract before its maturity, then you will be billed for the full amount of the remaining months of the same.
For example, if you applied for the entry-level plan which is ₱1,500 per month, and if you decided to end your subscription within a year, then multiply the monthly fees by 12 months: ₱1,500 (12 months) = ₱18,000. That will be your Early Contract Termination Fee.
Converge ICT’s status as a disruptive player in a field of established titans, and their desire to deliver a solid customer experience in the hopes of encouraging word-of-mouth referrals is all good for consumers. However, it’s not for everyone, especially for people outside the island of Luzon.
All in all, Converge ICT presents a good alternative to the bigger industry players in terms of speed, price, and bandwidth. However, limited coverage is not just a drawback for them, it is also a bane for a large number of Filipino internet users who would not have the opportunity to use the connection for now.