Saying that Internet data that travel outside of the country are vulnerable to security risks and contribute to the slowdown in Internet speed, a major cloud computing firm has thrown its full support behind the IP (Internet protocol) peering initiative of the government via the Philippine Open Internet Exchange (PHOpenIX) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
Cyril Rocke, chief executive of data center operator and cloud provider DataOne Asia, said in a recent press briefing that IP peering is so crucial that the government should compel the local telcos to connect to PHOpenIX.
?Sometimes, the authorities must also use a stick rather than just a carrot to make it happen,? Rocke said. ?The NTC (National Telecommunications Commission) should use a stick at some point for the benefit of the entire country.?
DataOne Asia, which has transitioned from being a data center operator to a cloud computing computing firm, is already connected the DOST-operated Internet exchange.
Under Administrative Order 39 issued by President Aquino in July 2013, all government agencies are mandated to course their data traffic through the Internet exchange.
Rocke said this should also apply to private telcos and data center operators to allow Internet traffic to remain in the country, speeding up access and securing content in the process.
?In most countries, initiatives like this became successful because the telcos saw and gained real benefits from it,? said Rocke, who is originally from France.
He added: ?The DOST does not need to reinvent the wheel. They just have to look at what the other countries have done ? whether it?s Singapore, Malaysia, US, Germany, or France. In each of these countries, they realized a lot of savings [by keeping Internet traffic within the country]. They also experienced resistance from various sectors, but they succeeded.?
Rocke pointed out that the lack of IP peering exposes the country to a lot of issues such as latency and security. ?I believe the national security of the Philippines is at risk if the data all come out of the country’s territory. It’s the national interest at stake and not just commercial interest,? he said.
He said this is also the underlying reason why DataOne is promoting the concept of a domestic cloud environment that offer local applications, even if there are already a number of foreign-based cloud providers in the country.
?We have accounting and law clients who want their cloud provider to be based here because they can be subjected to court orders,? Rocke said.
?Since DataOne is an in-country cloud, it is covered by the Data Privacy Law that penalizes unauthorized disclosure of personal information collected by the government and the private sector,? he noted.
The executive said DataOne, being a telco neutral and independent data center, tried in the past to become an Internet exchange. ?But there?s just too much politics in this? [so we leaving this task to the DOST], he said.
Rocke said the government must attempt — if not force — the biggest players to be involved in domestic IP peering. ?If the big guys don?t participate, it will be hard [to succeed],? he said, alluding to telco giant PLDT which has refused to connect to the DOST-owned facility.
PLDT said it supports voluntary and bilateral IP peering, arguing that service quality suffers in forced peering arrangements due to low levels of investment in infrastructure.
But Rocke said the Aquino administration seems bent on pursuing the initiative through the DOST. ?This is one project that we?re strongly supporting,? he said.
Meanwhile, Rocke said to build up the capability of its cloud offerings, DataOne will ?integrate? with an offshore provider for back-up in the next six months.
The executive pointed out one of the biggest risks facing businesses at present is the threat of data loss or the failure to recover data.
?Storing data the traditional way (like hardware for instance) pose risk of data loss. If it?s stored in the cloud, the data is backed up and easily moved when necessary,? he said.