PLDT: We’re talking to Globe for bilateral IP peering

Telecom firm PLDT disclosed it has initiated discussions with fierce rival Globe Telecom for an Internet Protocol (IP) peering arrangement to improve local Internet linkages and speed up broadband speed in the country.

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As early as August 14 this year, PLDT said its officials have reached out to their Globe counterparts to open discussions on a bilateral IP peering agreement.

PLDT said it subsequently submitted a draft proposal based on internationally accepted peering practices, and is in active discussions with Globe.

Aside from Globe, the dominant carrier did not say if it is keen on exchanging Web traffic with other Internet service providers through the Philippine Open Internet Exchange (PHOpenIX).

Last month, PLDT reached an agreement with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to connect to the PHOpenIX to give its subscribers faster access to government websites hosted in PHOpenIX.

PLDT also provided rack space in ePLDT’s Vitro Data Center facility, where DOST has set up and operates its third PHOpenIX node.

“Our discussions with Globe are part of a broader effort of PLDT to improve Internet services in the country,” said Ernesto R. Alberto, PLDT executive vice president for Enterprise and International Business and president and CEO of ePLDT.

He said PLDT is still “pursuing several parallel initiatives that taken together will help deliver an improved Internet experience for Filipinos.”

“Local peering will help improve the Web experience of Internet users in the country by keeping local traffic local. That is why we struck an agreement with DOST and why we are pursuing another one with Globe,” Alberto said.

“But we need to combine this effort with other initiatives to really have a substantial and sustained impact on the Internet experience of our customers,” he added.

The PLDT official explained that about 95 percent of the Web content accessed by Filipinos are sourced overseas, primarily North America and to a lesser extent Europe.

Moreover, Filipinos’ Internet habits are shifting towards multimedia content, particularly high-definition streaming video, which are much more bandwidth-heavy than other Web traffic.

As a result, the required international cable capacity to carry the growing multimedia traffic from abroad is rising rapidly, the company said.

Alberto explained there are two ways to address this challenge. First, PLDT is periodically building additional international cable capacity to stay ahead of the soaring demand for multimedia content.

Second, PLDT is storing or “caching” in its data centers in the country as much popular overseas Web content as possible.

To support that effort, the PLDT Group operates six data center facilities with a current total capacity of over 3,200 racks.

Two more data centers will be operational by first half of 2016, which will raise the conglomerate’s total capacity to over 8,000 racks.

“Local caching really helps, but this has limits. A lot of the most sought-after Internet content is very dynamic. Like, you cannot locally cache news sites or secure web sites such as those of banks and other financial institutions,” he said.

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