Globe Telecom Inc labeled as insufficient the recent Internet Protocol (IP) peering of the Philippines’ dominant carrier PLDT with the government’s Philippine Open Internet Exchange (PHOPenIX), and has called upon an “all-inclusive” arrangement among major internet services to boost local Internet speed.
Globe made the remark following PLDT’s official hosting of PHOpenIX recently as the arrangement still does not require it to exchange traffic with other ISPs via the local Internet exchange. The deal, instead, will only allow PLDT clients to peer directly with government websites through the PHOpenIX.
PHOpenIX is the only Internet exchange in the Philippines operated by a neutral institution that allows the exchanges of Internet traffic in a free-market environment among local internet and data service providers. It is maintained by the Department of Science and Technology’s Advanced Science and Technology Institute or DOST-ASTI.
Globe general counsel Froilan Castelo said that from a technical perspective, localization is optimization.
“Any amount of traffic localized will contribute to access improvement and cost savings. However, given that around 80 per cent of access content is foreign, there is minimal impact on Internet speed. What we need is an all-inclusive IP peering arrangement among all ISPs. Peering of PLDT clients with government sites won’t cut it,” Castelo said. “The remaining 20 per cent is Philippine traffic. This means that domestic traffic originates in the Philippines and terminates in the Philippines.”
Castelo cited that of the 20 per cent supposedly local traffic, up to 70 per cent is routed outside the Philippines, such as in Asia, US and Europe, before returning to the Philippines.
“Instead of getting routed directly between origin and destination locally, traffic is routed outwards through others networks, incurring additional IP transit costs, before the data is routed back to its target destination, thus causing delay in data transmission and effectively slowing internet connectivity,” the lawyer added.
Castelo noted Globe is open to have IP peering effected with its main competitor, whether by government mandate or via a bilateral arrangement.
He also explained that such arrangement, once implemented, could lead to increased foreign investments and additional job creation as it will encourage multinational companies to locate their websites, services and businesses in the country.
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“Peering offers a variety of advantages for our customers. As more and more of our customers shift to a digital lifestyle, we want to deliver as much traffic as possible in a way that provides optimal user experience,” he said. “Still, competition’s decision to connect with PHOpenIX is a step towards the right direction. At the end of the day, anything that will boost local internet speed is beneficial for the entire industry and we will be supportive of such initiatives.”
In a study released by media agency We Are Social, local active Internet users grew 18 per cent from January 2014 to March 2015, or 44.2 million which is 44 per cent of the entire Philippine population. Of these figures, about 42 per cent or 42 million are active social media users. This represents a 24 per cent growth since January 2014.