RP gets first ‘open’ Internet exchange

The Philippines will soon get the country’s first open and non-commercial Internet exchange, managed and owned by a consortium of companies, as well as the first Internet exchange in the Philippine to fully support the old Internet protocol (IP) version 4 and the new IPv6.

The Philippine Open Internet Exchange Project (PHOpenIX) will serve as testing ground for Internet traffic coming through the Philippines and will also serve as a host root DNS (domain name system) server.

The significance of the latter is that Philippine-based Internet service providers will be able to route their traffic locally without depending on their telecommunications providers, especially during major disasters as exemplified by the recent Taiwan earthquake that damaged undersea cables which served as one of the Philippines’ telecommunications backbones.

PHOPenIX is a collaborative effort by the Department of Science and Technology, Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI), telecommunications firm Innove, Commission on Information and Communications Technology, Cisco Systems, and the international non-profit research group Packet Clearing House.

ASTI will maintain PHOpenIX, which will be hosted in Innove’s MK2 (formlery AyalaPort) data center. Likewise, Packet Clearing House donated much of the equipment while Cisco provided the network hardware.

ASTI Director Denis Villorente told INQUIRER.NET that this would be the first time that a major Internet exchange will be maintained by a consortium of commercial, non-government, academic and government institutions. He said all companies can apply to be partners in PHOpenIX.

Villorente said its objective is to encourage the Internet traffic exchange in a free-market level and the subsequent benefits would be lower cost of connectivity for users, reduction of operational cost and improvement in reliability and redundancy.

PHOpenIX will remain open to Internet stakeholders who may want to use its capabilities, in particular, its IPv6 support.

IPv6 is the latest addressing standard for the Internet and follows closely the more widely-used IPv4. The main difference is that IPv6 has much longer addressing, thus allowing non-computer-related electronic devices to connect to the Internet, such as mobile phones and home appliances.

ASTI is the first institution in the Philippines that has been thoroughly testing IPv6 for the last three years.

Villorente added that using the Internet exchange will remain free for all partners for a year as PCH has already covered much of the cost. During which time, ASTI will come up with a maintenance cost that will be shared by all the stakeholders.

By Alexander Villafania, INQUIRER.net


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