I want to talk about the story of Philippine Internet interconnectivity. The Philippine Internet hasn’t achieved a fully local setup where traffic from one network to another can avoid passing abroad. This was a pressing concern of mine back in my previous career in Internet services.
Little did I know that the topic would become a matter of national interest, and not just a play topic of IP networking geeks. This is thanks to the ZTE “broadband scandal.”
In summary, there have been many attempts to put together Internet exchanges. Two were telco-run: the Philippine Internet Exchange by PLDT, and the Manila Internet Exchange by Eastern Telecoms. There was a Globe Internet Exchange, but this was an IP transit provider and not an IX. There was also the “Come On Route Everybody” (CORE) of PHnet.
Recently, the PHOpenIX has been the latest service (or attempt?) at this.
I don’t know the actual operational details or status of these systems.
It’s ironic that the ZTE story revives this old interconnectivity story, because it’s politics – commercial politics, not national – that have hindered the interconnectivity attempts of the past.
I’m not even sure how useful local interconnectivity for ordinary users because most people use US-hosted services (e.g. GMail) or host their content in US hosting sites (which I am doing with this blog.) Back in the day I was trying to push the development of PH-hosted content and applications but that didn’t work out. Now with Web 2.0 economies of scale, the prospects of hosting stuff in PH are next to nil.