“ISPs in Philippines – the real facts and why you should care”


ISPs buy transit traffic through backbone providers like PACNET, Level3, UUNet etc. – these are the services that connect your ISP to the world, it’s too expensive for all ISPs to run their own international backbone fibers.

Because of PLDTs enormous power they have been able to defy the laws of interconnection and because of this keep prices up and bandwidth down as a whole in Philippines. I’m not saying that the other Telcos here are angels but at least their obey the law of interconnection. Doesn’t it seem odd that Philippines is so far behind in terms of bandwidth/price for internet? It’s literally 10 year behind Europe in it’s current state.

It’s worth noting that Globe has a stake in the worlds most powerful sea fiber. This is why PLDT is scared that if they loose their stranglehold on the consumers here that they will realize that the competitor offers a superior product. Unfortunately Globe has some of the least educated support staff/customer service in Philippines so it’s not all roses on the ‘other side’.

I can give you a concrete example of how full PLDT is of themselves – I was involved in a project in Philippines (which is when I fell in love with the country and moved here afterwards) that also involved PACNET. I was dumbfounded why the routing in Philippines was all over the place, I was trying to understand whom or what was the cause of this terrible infrastructure so I could fix it, eventually I narrowed it down to PLDT being incompetent. As I met with the senior technicians from PACNET regarding a multi-gigabit transit setup here in Manila I asked them why PLDTs routing was all over the place, as they are the major operator it was important for us to have good connectivity with PLDT. The PACNET technician and the senior sales manager explained to me that of all the countries they do business in, Philippines was the only place where a Telco willing and carelessly broke conventional international norms. PACNET had been dumbfounded when PLDT asked PACNET to pay PLDT when PLDT wanted to buy backbone capacity from PACNET. Their reasoning was that without PLDT you could not service the general public in Philippines properly so that’s why PLDT should get money for allowing their customers direct access to PACNET. I’ll let that sink in a little.

PACNET is a company who’s main business is SELLING backbone capacity across South East Asia and PLDT wanted PACNET to pay so PLDT could get backbone capacity from PACNET. It is so stupid that it completely blows my mind.

Everything else they explain perfectly matched what I had seen examining the Philippines’ internet infrastructure. Unfortunately to remedy this situation you need non-corrupt representatives that also understands technology or the need for improving the infrastructure as a whole in Philippines – not being able to vote here was a relief as I doubt there are any.

To summarize:

Garena needs to supply us with an IP where we can do UDP based pings to have reliable connectivity diagnostics.

If Garena is relying solely on the standard connectivity at VITRO (ePLDT), then they need to invest in their own connectivity to Globe and Bayan/Sky.

The Filipino government needs to create a unified IX, that mandates you have to interconnect a certain bandwidth pr. subscriber with a minimum bandwidth of 1 Gigabit. Make it so that you loose the right to do Telco services if you are not connected to the public IX. (this would solve all connectivity issues for someone like Garena at zero cost to Garena and all other companies doing online services in Philippines)