Philippine telecommunications operators Globe Telecom and PLDT made another positive step at improving internet services for its millions of customers through a bilateral IP peering arrangement that will make downloading/uploading of web content faster and more efficient.
Globe and PLDT signed a memorandum of agreement today, which will serve as a preamble to a formal peering agreement between the two parties. The agreement provides for the two companies to implement a bilateral domestic peering within 30 days. A formal peering agreement is set to be signed by both companies within 90 days. Senator Bam Aquino witnessed the MOA signing.
“After six years of actively advocating for an IP peering, Globe welcomes PLDT’s decision to have a meaningful and applicable IP peering arrangement with us. We are happy with this landmark development considering the benefits to our customers in terms of internet experience,” said Gil Genio, Globe Chief Technology and Information Officer. “With an effective domestic internet peering in place, Globe customers will gain direct access to content and applications hosted by PLDT data centers and vice-versa. We are confident that this agreement will redound to a better experience on internet services benefitting customers of both parties and the country as a whole,” he added.
Under the agreement, Globe will put in a 10Gbps link and port for domestic peering between Globe and PLDT (GIX-PHIX). The bilateral domestic peering will cover PLDT-managed networks such as Smart, Sun and Digitel and the Globe networks that include Globe mobile, Bayantel, Ayalaport and Globe data center. The agreement, however, does not cover the Vitro Internet Exchange, which houses PLDT’s data centers as Globe already has an existing peering arrangement with Vitro involving a 10Gbps link.
The IP peering agreement means that content and applications hosted by the PLDT group which are being accessed by Globe customers will be treated as local content, and do not have to be routed overseas, causing additional IP transit costs, delay in data transmission and latency in downloading sites. About 20% of internet traffic is local, which means that traffic originates in the Philippines and terminates in the Philippines. As provided for in the agreement, both Globe and PLDT will provide a 3Gbps per month free traffic threshold.
Once implemented, the IP peering arrangement between the two telcos will keep a substantial portion of local data traffic in country, thus the elapsed transmission and reception time are kept to a minimum. This in turn allows for shorter access-to-response time, and faster access to applications. For customers, the browsing experience is better because delays and time outs are minimal. Gaming applications will also run smoothly.
IP Peering also helps minimize the country’s dependence on international cables and prevent a repeat of a 2008 incident where major international cables were damaged because of the Taiwan earthquake. The incident prevented Philippine customers from accessing local sites, government websites and local emails.