The Rebirth of Philippine Internet Exchanges? has this scoop on the proposed low-cost RP Internet Exchange called PHOpenIX.

The Philippine Network Operators Group (PHNOG) and the Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI) of the Department of Science and Technology 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 email 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 allows the creation of more Internet addresses and improves data security.

Internet exchanges (IX) provide numerous benefits for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the country. This concept is not entirely new. Migs and I co-wrote an article for the Asia Pacific Internet Association on the state of Philippine Internet Exchanges. This was nearly five (5) years ago. IXes have definitely been around for quite some time already. However, its state is not very good.

A case in point is the peering between PLDT and ETPI. PLDT is part of the Philippine Internet Exchange (PHIX). ETPI is part of the Manila Internet Exchange (MIX). Both PHIX and MIX are peered together. In theory, traffic from PLDT and ETPI should be fast because it does not have to pass costly transpacific or regional cable networks. However, the truth is far from it. The link between MIX and PHIX is so congested that it is actually faster if the traffic passed International cable networks! Strange but true.

The events of the recent  Taiwan Earthquake (which crippled a good part of the Philippine Internet) has probably raised awareness to the fragility of our Internet and its dependence on connectivity to the US. So, I wish Denis, his crew at DOST-ASTI and the folds of the PHOpenIX all the luck in getting providers to sincerely look at building a sustainable Internet Exchange. While they are at it, they might want to add router reflectors, network mappers, VoIP exchanges, and others.

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