To speed up Internet, media owners must bring content to PH exchanges: PLDT

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By Tom Noda

One of the solutions to speed up Internet access in the Philippines is to convince media owners to bring their content to local Internet exchanges, according to telco giant PLDT.

With all the fuss that’s been hounding the slow and expensive Internet in the country, PLDT and Smart Communication public affairs head Ramon Isberto said one of the best solutions is to convince media owners like Google and Yahoo to bring in their content in the country’s Internet exchanges.

Mon Isberto, PLDT and Smart Communication public affairs head
Mon Isberto, PLDT and Smart Communication public affairs head

However, Isberto said media owners must be convinced in doing so since no one can force these firms to act on this.

?The reality is about 80 percent of our [Internet] traffic is sourced overseas. Your Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo mail, Gmail, are all in overseas servers. We are trying to create a situation where it would be in the best interest of content owners in bringing their content in Internet exchanges here,? Isberto said, noting the matter is now under negotiations.

He added that Smart, PLDT?s mobile arm, is looking for a win-win solution through which the users of the content and services from media owners can enjoy a better experience.

For many months now, many industry experts including PLDT rival Globe Telecoms have been criticizing PLDT for being firm in opposing an Internet Protocol (IP) peering proposal made by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) in 2011.

PLDT believes the draft would allow Internet service providers (ISPs) to take advantage of the company’s Internet infrastructure where it poured heavy investments.

The NTC draft memorandum circular mandates all ISPs to connect with the IP exchange of the DOST?s Advanced Science and Technology Institute called the Philippine Open Internet Exchange or PHOpenIX.

NTC has been blaming the lack of IP peering among local ISPs as a reason behind the country’s slow Internet speeds. With IP peering, networks can exchange traffic with each other freely by creating an interconnection between ISPs.

Despite PLDT’s rejection of the IP peering proposal, Isberto said PLDT is not only open, but is actually practicing IP peering through bilateral commercial agreements between ISPs.

?PLDT is for domestic IP peering. But we’re also open for negotiated voluntary bilateral agreement which is the generally accepted international practice,? Isberto said.

Recently, Ray Espinosa, PLDT’s director and head of regulatory affairs and policies office, tagged PLDT as ?the principal proponent of domestic IP peering? in the Philippines by establishing the Vitro Internet Exchange (VIX) in August 2005 which now serves 33 local and international content providers, 12 ISPs, and telcos including Globe Telecoms.

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