Globe scoffs at PLDT peering deal with gov’t Internet exchange

Globe Telecom on Sunday, Sept. 27, made a scathing criticism on the recent exclusive peering arrangement of PLDT with the government’s Philippine Open Internet Exchange (PHOpenIX).

globe tower

“An all-inclusive IP peering arrangement among major Internet service providers in the country is still needed to boost local Internet speed,” the Ayala-led telco said in a press statement.

Globe noted that PLDT’s arrangement with PHOpenIX does not require the dominant carrier to exchange traffic with other ISPs via the local Internet exchange. Instead, the deal will only allow PLDT clients to peer directly with government websites through the PHOpenIX.

“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% 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,” Globe general counsel Froilan Castelo said.

The operator said only 20% of the Internet traffic in the country is domestic. Globe said up to 70% of this domestic traffic is routed outside the country 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, Castelo said.

“Still, [PLDT’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,” Castelo said.

Maintained by the Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI) by the Department of Science and Technology, PHOpenIX is the only exchange in the Philippine Internet industry operated by a neutral institution that allows the exchanges of Internet traffic in a free-market environment among local Internet and data service providers.

According to Castelo, Globe is amenable to connect directly via IP peering with PLDT, whether by mandate of the government or through a bilateral arrangement.

“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.

Globe said an all-inclusive IP peering arrangement means response time is shorter and the application access is faster. “This, in turn, will result in better customer experience and delays and time outs on customer applications such as games are minimized,” Castelo explained.

The lawyer said that IP peering arrangement in developed economies usually covers all data traffic of local ISPs.

“If implemented, such arrangement could lead to increased foreign investments and result in job creation as it will encourage multinational companies to locate their websites, services, and businesses in the country,” he said.

Castelo also said the facility will also ease the country’s dependence on international cables and prevent a repeat of a 2008 incident where major international cables were damaged because of the Taiwan earthquake.

The incident prevented Philippine customers from accessing local sites, government websites, and local email.

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