PLDT: We?re operating and supporting voluntary IP peering

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PLDT head for regulatory affairs and policies Ray Espinosa. Photo credit: PLDT head for regulatory affairs and policies Ray Espinosa. Photo credit:[/caption] The telco titan issued the statement after a couple of online publications, including Newsbytes.PH, published stories that carried comments from industry experts criticizing PLDT for refusing to connect to the Philippine Open Internet Exchange (PHOpenIX) set up by the Department of Science and Technology. In a media statement, PLDT said that it has, in fact, taken the lead in developing a network of domestic peering arrangements among local ISPs and broadband providers. ?PLDT is actually a principal proponent of domestic IP peering in the country, having established the Vitro Internet Exchange (VIX) of ePLDT in August 2005. VIX now serves 33 local and international content providers and 12 ISPs and telcos, including Globe Telecoms and Bayantel,? said Ray Espinosa, PLDT director and head of PLDT?s regulatory affairs and policies office. Espinosa said the VIX, although privately owned, is already hosting many forms of content. All ISPs and telcos connected to the VIX can access these information, he said. ?It is not a ?walled garden?. That means, subscribers of different ISPs and telcos can access the information and services of the various content and service providers in the exchange,? Espinosa stressed. ?As a result, the experience of Internet users accessing content and services hosted by VIX has improved. This includes the subscribers of other telcos like Globe and Bayantel,? he added. The PLDT executive emphasized peering arrangements have been set up through voluntary agreements between PLDT and the different content providers and ISPs. ?Peering through voluntary agreements is the generally accepted international practice. This is the most efficient and equitable approach because it allows the contracting parties to arrive at mutually acceptable arrangements that provide their customers better service,? Espinosa said. PLDT had in the past opposed a draft memorandum circular of the National Telecommunications Commission in 2011 mandating all ISPs to connect with the IP exchange of the DOST?s Advanced Science and Technology Institute. The company said the draft NTC order would enable some ISPs to ?free ride? on others, like PLDT and Smart, who have invested heavily in its Internet infrastructure. ?In the long run, this becomes a disincentive for ISPs to further invest in upgrading and expanding their data networks,? the Pangilinan-led utility firm said. PLDT said studies have found that service quality eventually suffers in forced peering arrangements due to low levels of investment in infrastructure. ?As the National Telecommunications Commission has itself pointed out, huge investments are needed to continue improving Internet services in the country. It would be simply counter-productive if ill-conceived regulation stifles further investments,? Espinosa said. ]]>

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