Globe Telecom is asking the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to put in place an official domestic IP peering policy, which will help improve the quality of internet services and lower access costs in the country. IP peering is similar to interconnection among local telcos for calls and texts, as it involves connecting subscribers and applications of one internet service provider (ISP) to another.
Without this policy, IP traffic takes longer to route as data is sometimes sent overseas before reaching its target destination. To customers, the experience is sluggish response times and lower service quality. To ISPs, it is a waste of international capacity and resources when the transmission should be direct and not routed outwards especially when both the origin and destination are located in the Philippines.
The circuitous data routing also means added costs as the peering partner can charge a fee for transmitting the data. Globe said domestic IP peering can be free-of-charge as data need not be pushed out of country. It should ply and pay a domestic route only. In the same way that landline calls made within the same calling area are free calls that are covered by the monthly service fee, peering costs for domestic data transmission can be offered free to help reduce internet access rates.
As internet penetration grows, Globe said the industry must continue to improve the way customers are served by providing them with faster and better internet experience. The absence of a domestic IP peering policy today stifles healthy competition as subscriber of an ISP will experience unsatisfactory interlinking with another ISP if the latter refuses to leverage efficient domestic IP peering.
With higher costs for the ISP taking international routes, customers cannot expect lower internet access rates and they would have to contend with a degraded internet experience, Globe said.
To date, Globe has been able to establish IP peering with other telcos and ISPs with sufficient bandwidth, but PLDT has refused to allow connection upgrades. Globe underscores the importance of a domestic IP peering policy today as it calls on the NTC to safeguard a level playing field in the industry for the benefit of the consumers.
The market power that PLDT wields now, and more so post consolidation with Digitel, potentially stands to further embolden the incumbent to perpetuate data traffic routing contrary to efficient domestic IP peering practice, Globe said.
Globe also said with many ISPs operating in the country formulating and implementing a domestic IP peering policy to interlink networks is important to ensure that customers get efficient internet services and access applications they need, to provide a superior internet experience and support the strong demand for internet connectivity.