Effective Internet depends on Internet exchanges
By: Katherine Babaran, February 16, 2015

DSC_0570Connecting to a single Internet exchange point would raise the service quality of the Internet.

This was the principle emphasized by Bill Woodcock, an Internet policy maker and executive director of Packet Clearing House (PCH), in the Philippine Network Operators Group (PhNOG) 2015 Forum last 11 February 2015 at the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) – Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI) in Quezon City.

Organized by the DOST-ASTI, the forum brought together private and government Internet stakeholders.

“Cities which haven’t yet built Internet exchange points disadvantage themselves, and export capital to cities that already have,” said Woodcock.

An Internet exchange is a marketplace which allows Internet service providers (ISPs), telecommunication carriers, content providers, among others, to directly interconnect to each other and exchange traffic. The exchanging of IP is known as “peering”.

Mr. Bayani Benjamin Lara, Supervising Science Research Specialist and part of the team which manages the Philippine Open Internet Exchange (PhOpenIX), said that thru a central Internet exchange, the Internet traffic would not travel to other connections outside the country before going to its target destination. Thus, a neutral Internet exchange would result to lower costs, less latency, and better redundancy.

“For example, if you want to send an email, and the ISPs do not connect or peer with each other, your email will go out of the country and route somewhere, which is a very expensive and takes longer. Local Internet connectivity, speed and value for money will improve if peers connect and route their traffic to a neutral Internet exchange like the PhOpenIX,” said Lara.

Other speakers of PhNOG 2015 were Jacomo Piccolini of the Team Cymru; Prof. Raymond Nunez of the University of the Philippines Diliman Computer Center; Tiffany de Guzman from the Office of Senator Bam Aquino; and Paul Prantilla of the Information and Communications Technology Office.

The PhNOG is a non-profit organization established to promote coordination among network operators in the Philippines. Its thrust is providing knowledge and development to all members, as well as Philippine IT community as a whole, thru discussions on technical issues or concerns on Internet and network management.

The PhOpenIX is the only neutral Internet exchange in the country, which is being managed by the DOST-ASTI.