Lower-cost RP Internet exchange proposed

A non-profit organization and government are pushing an initiative to encourage more network operators in the country to connect to a common Philippine Internet exchange to lower cost of Internet traffic.

The Philippine Network Operators Group (PHNOG) and the Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) have started setting up the Philippine common Internet exchange, dubbed PHOpenIX, according to PHNOG founder and APNIC Pty. Ltd. Training Officer Amante Alvaran, in an e-mail interview.

The PHOpenIX is currently managed and operated by ASTI, a research and development arm of the DOST.

Alvaran said both organizations are now inviting network operators to connect to the local Internet exchange, which supports both IP version 4 (IPv4) and IP version 6 (IPv6) Internet protocols. IPv6 is an improved version of the former. Essentially, IPv6 allows the creation of more Internet addresses and improves data security.

He disclosed that PHNOG has conducted meetings with stakeholders late last year with different Internet service providers and telecommunications companies, with help from the Commission on Information and Communication Technology (CICT) chairman Ramos Sales.

The PHOpenIX is also supported by international organizations like Cisco and Packet Clearing House in the United States, and Consulintel (IPv6 firm in Europe), he said.

CICT has previously discussed plans to push IPv6 adoption in the country.

“That was the first effort to invite them to join the IX [Internet Exchange],” he added, noting that there are some existing guidelines available online for network operators to join the local Internet Exchange.

Asked how the local Internet exchange can make “traffic cheaper,” Alvaran said it is best to understand the existing international bandwidth cost compared to the local bandwidth cost.

Citing the example of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. and Innove (Globe Telecom), he said Internet traffic goes out of the country via SingTel (Singapore Telecom) then back to the Philippines whenever they access a rival’s network.

This is currently the situation in the country because the Philippine Internet exchange link “is not working as expected due to congested link and an expensive local link (to connect with PHIX) plus the limited bandwidth upgrade option,” Alvaran explained.

PHNOG is hoping IPv6 adoption in the Philippines will improve under this initiative.

Meanwhile, Alvaran said PHNOG is involved in efforts to educate and help build more knowledge on Internet technologies. The group has been conducting workshops and trainings as part of its other mandate to educate the local community.

By Erwin Olivia, INQUIRER.net


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