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MANILA, Philippines, October 2, 2015 – Leading telecoms and digital services provider PLDT has initiated discussions with Globe Telecom for an Internet Protocol (IP) peering arrangement as part of PLDT’s comprehensive program to improve local Internet linkages, and raise the quality of Internet services in the country.
As early as August 14 this year, PLDT officials reached out to their Globe counterparts to open discussions on a bilateral IP peering agreement. PLDT subsequently submitted a draft proposal based on internationally accepted peering practices, and is in active discussions with Globe.
“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.
“We are pursuing several parallel initiatives that taken together will help deliver an improved Internet experience for Filipinos,” he added.
Last month, PLDT reached an agreement with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to provide fiber optic facilities that link PLDT to the DOST's Philippine Open Internet Exchange (PHOpenIX).
PLDT also provided rack space in ePLDT’s VITRO Data Center facility, where DOST has set up and operates its third PHOpenIX node.
This network peering arrangement further improves the resiliency of the government Internet exchange and gives PLDT subscribers better access to government websites hosted in PHOpenIX.
“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% 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.
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 6 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 Group’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.
In another parallel effort to improve the Internet experience of its customers, PLDT is rolling out more domestic fiber optic cable facilities for use in both backbone transmission and distribution to the home or office.
Its wireless subsidiaries Smart Communications and Sun Cellular are also rolling high-speed 3G and 4G/LTE facilities to further improve the coverage and quality of mobile and wireless broadband services.
“Internet infrastructure has many ‘moving parts’. We have to undertake various simultaneous initiatives to make changes that will really benefit our customers and the public,” Alberto said.
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