The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT) Company to help Filipino internet users in the country towards more secure, efficient, and faster access to various government websites. The signing was held last September 07, 2015 at Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Office in Diliman, Quezon City.
Said MoA defines the establishment of the fiber optic facilities that will link PLDT to the Philippine Open Internet Exchange (PHOpenIX) which is being operated by DOST’s Advance Science and Technology Institute (ASTI).
PHOpenIX, the first and only Exchange in the Philippine Internet industry operated by a neutral institution, was established by ASTI last 2007. It allows exchanges of Internet traffic in a free-market environment among local internet and data service providers.
Meanwwhile, PLDT will provide rack space with power in its VITRO Data Center facility, where DOST can set up and operate its third PHOpenIX node. The first two nodes are operated by ASTI in Diliman and Globe Telecom in Makati.
Through this, PLDT subscribers can experience better, faster access to government websites hosted in PHOpenIX.
DOST Undersecretary and ICT Office Executive Director Louis Napoleon Casambre admitted that the quality of the Internet in the Philippines relative to the rest of the world has been the subject of much criticism in the news, social media, and congressional hearings.
“One of the factors contributing to this negative observation is that our local providers are not peered with each other through a local exchange,” said Casambre. “Internet traffic from one provider to another still has to pass through international channels before arriving to its intended local destination, causing unnecessary congestion of our connection to the rest of the internet.”
Meanwhile, DOST Secretary Mario G. Montejo said that DOST’s partnership with PLDT will allow the government over P21 million-worth of free use of the PLDT dark fiber for two years.
“Consequently, this will save the Filipino people significant time whenever they try to access government websites. This arrangement marks a stronger public-private partnership, especially in the field of connectivity,” said Montejo.
“The PLDT Group has always been one with the DOST in its mandate to uplift the Filipino’s quality of life, by leveraging the latest available information and communication technology capabilities that we have, and the resources that we can humbly contribute,” said PLDT Executive Vice-President and ePLDT President Ernesto R. Alberto.
Senator Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, who has been pushing for ICT connectivity, said they are not yet aiming for IP peering, but with a telco giant like PLDT as part of the PHOpenIX, it is now a step closer towards the goal.
In the same event also, DOST announced the designation of PHOpenIX as the government’s official IP Exchange network in accordance with Administrative Order No. 39.
Two years ago, amid of the spate of defacements of government websites, Malacanang issued AO 39, mandating government agencies to migrate to the government web hosting service of DOST-ICT Office.
“ I am happy to announce that migration of government websites is more than 80 percent complete, with the other 20 percent expected to have migrated fully by the end of this year,” said Casambre. (By Allan Mauro V. Marfal, S &T Media Service)
QUICK, SECURE, AND MORE EFFICIENT ACCESS TO GOVERNMENT WESITES. (Front, L-R) Sen. Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Mario G. Montejo, together with Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT) Executive Vice President Eric R. Alberto and Head for Regulatory Affairs and Policies Atty. Ray Espinosa sign a Memorandum of Agreement between DOST and PLDT last September 07, 2015 at Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Office in Diliman, Quezon City. The said partnership will enable PLDT subscribers to have more secure and more efficient access to government websites. Under the MoA, PLDT will provide optical fiber connectivity to link up the PHOpenIX node in ASTI headquarters to the third node that will be setup inside PLDT’s Vitro Center. The first two nodes of PHOpenIX are located in ASTI office in Diliman and Globe Telecom in Makati. PHOpenIX is the first and only Exchange in the Philippine Internet industry operated by a neutral institution that allows the exchanges of Internet traffic in a free-market environment among local internet and data service providers. Also in the photos are (at the back, L-R) PLDT Vice President for Corporate Relationship Management Renato Castaneda, Vice President and Head of PLDT ALPHA Enterprise Jovy Hernandez, DOST Undersecretary and ICT Office Executive Director Louis Napoleon Casambre, and ICT Office Deputy Executive Director for e-Governance Denis F. Villorente (Photo by Gerardo Palad)