Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Globe to PLDT: Only Total, Unconditional Peering Is Acceptable

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Globe Telecom confirmed it is currently in talks with PLDT for an IP peering arrangement but laments PLDT’s proposal will prevent Globe customers from accessing content and applications hosted by PLDT data centers (which includes ePLDT, Vitro, Sun, Smart, etc.)

“The proposal does not go far enough even to meet the definition of peering. We are hoping any bilateral arrangement with PLDT would effectively reduce latency of local intent and improve internet speed. As is, PLDT’s proposed peering agreement won’t be effective in improving the country’s internet speed as it doesn’t allow Globe customers to directly access content and applications hosted by the PLDT group without exception,” Globe Chief Operating Officer Gil Genio said.

Globe has already pointed this out to PLDT executives, who will look at the possibility of revising their proposal. “Having an agreement on IP peering is one thing and monitoring to make sure all websites, content and applications are in fact visible to us is another thing and should be a constant process,” he said. Both parties should ensure that an ideal peering relationship is established, adding that IP peering entails generally accepted practices of peering where one has access to the other and vice versa, unconditionally.

Nonetheless, Genio stressed that PLDT’s decision to bring the issue at the negotiating table is commendable, noting that Globe has been actively advocating for IP peering for more than six years now. “We are optimistic as PLDT has finally responded positively to our long-standing call for IP peering. We are confident that ongoing discussions will lead to better quality of internet services benefitting customers of both parties and the country as a whole,” he said.
Globe earlier emphasized that an all-inclusive IP peering arrangement among major internet service providers in the country is still needed to boost local internet speed, following PLDT’s recent decision to host a local IP peering exchange, Philippine Open Internet Exchange (PHOpenIX). 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.

About 20% of internet traffic is local. This means that domestic traffic originates in the Philippines and terminates in the Philippines. However, given the current peering limitations, up to 70% of this local traffic has to be routed outside the country, such as in Asia, US and Europe, before returning to the Philippines. When traffic is routed outwards, it incurs additional IP transit costs aside from causing delay in data transmission and latency in downloading sites.

Research released by We Are Social (based on Internet Live Stats, Internet World Starts, government data, TenCent Worlddata, GSMA Intelligence, We Are Social Analysis), about 44% or 44.2 million of the Philippine population are active internet users as of March 2015. The number represents an 18% growth from January 2014. Also, about 42% or 42 million are active social media users. This number represents a 24% growth from January 2014.

An all-inclusive IP peering arrangement among ISPs will keep a substantial portion of local data traffic local which means access time is shorter and faster. It is expected to benefit customers with better experience and reduce delays in customer applications such as games, Genio explained, noting that IP peering arrangement in developed economies usually covers all data traffic of ISPs concerned.

If implemented, such arrangement will encourage multinational companies to locate their websites, services and businesses in the country. Such facility will also ease the country’s dependence on International cables and improve data resiliency, he added.  

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