Urge PLDT to agree on IP Peering to have faster and more affordable internet in the Philippines

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Urge PLDT to agree on IP Peering to have faster and more affordable internet in the Philippines

This petition had 1,741 supporters
Marcus Benedicto started this petition to PLDT, Philippine Long Disctance Telephone Company, Manny Pangilinan

Internet Connection in the Philippines, specifically for broadband, has recently been dubbed as the slowest amongst ASEAN countries and one of the most expensive ones at that according to Ookla (http://netindex.com). With promises falling short and appeals to the government and the telcos going in one ear and out another, we feel helpless as we are thrown terms of technicalities on why we don’t (or can’t) come close to our neighboring countries’ blazing speeds.

In my effort to understand what the real deal is, I saw that far beyond reach or technology advancements, IP Peering plays one of the most significant roles in any country’s internet connection state.

IP Peering is when two networks exchange traffic between each other’s users freely, and for benefits that include increased capacity for extremely large amounts of traffic, improved performance of networks, reduced dependence on just one transit provider, and improved perception of networks (networks will be able to claim a “higher tier”).

In the Philippines, only around 15% to 23% of all internet traffic is domestic.  However, instead of remaining local, a shocking 70% of this local traffic is being routed externally, such as in Hong Kong and the U.S., before returning to the Philippines.

The absence of applicable IP peering agreement among major ISPs in the Philippines makes the country dependent on international cables, which poses a threat to the overall internet connectivity of the country especially in times of disaster. This has long been an issue, and even more so when PLDT overtly rejected and criticized NTC’s proposed IP Peering policy in 2011.

Keeping domestic data traffic within the country through a significant IP peering agreement among ISPs would greatly reduce bandwidth costs and improve throughput and latency performance of ISPs, and thus provide faster internet speeds for their respective customers. “Many countries do not have their own domestic IXPs, which slows speeds for users and raises prices,” as stated in a recent study made by The Boston Consulting Group.

A draft memorandum circular of the National Telecommunications Commission compels ISPs participate in an IP Peering Agreement. However, PLDT is opposed the policy saying government agency in charge of the internet exchange, in this case theDepartment of Science and Technology and Technology Advanced Science and Technology Institute, may not be capable of ensuring security and service quality. They also state in a position paper that this NTC order may create a bottleneck that could hamper their service quality and that this requirement can “hinder growth by removing incentives for an ISP to competitively grow beyond a single exchange”.

In this regard, PLDT further states that this NTC order will enable some ISPs to “free-ride” on PLDT, who have invested heavily in its facilities, and thus requires that any telco that would request to peer with them would have to pay a hefty amount before the any agreements are made into action.

This is a call out to PLDT: This is not about being competitive locally, but globally. Being one of the slowest, not to mention most expensive, internet connections in ASEAN, we are compelled as consumers to get what we were promised. We find the decision to not participate in significant IP Peering agreements a decision that ONLY stems from greed. Help the Philippines connect to the world!


You may check these newslinks about PLDT rejecting the proposal of NTC for IP Peering.




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