The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT) on September 7 to help Internet users in the Philippines achieve a secure, efficient, and faster access to various government websites.
This partnership will result in the establishment of the fiber optic facilities that will link PLDT to the Philippine Open Internet Exchange (PHOpenIX), which is operated by DOST's Advance Science and Technology Institute (ASTI). Established by ASTI in 2007, PHOpenIX allows exchanges of Internet traffic in a free-market environment among local Internet and data service providers.
Under this agreement, PLDT will provide rack space with power in its VITRO Data Centre 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.
The entry of PLDT into PHOpenIX means that local data traffic toward government websites can now travel faster through domestic connection rather than being routed through offshore international cables before being sent back locally.
Commenting on this deal, DOST Secretary Mario G. Montejo said it will allow the government to save over P21 million (approximately US$448,000) for the two-year free usage of the PLDT dark fiber.
"This arrangement saves the Filipino people significant time whenever they try to access government websites. It also marks a stronger public-private partnership, especially in the field of connectivity," he added.
After a period of two years, PLDT will either continue to provide this for free or government budgeting will allocate enough to keep it going, according to Senator Benigno Aquino IV, who was also present at the signing ceremony.
PLDT has yet to implement the IP routing, however, it promised to complete the routing of Internet traffic within 30 to 45 days. It has also allocated 1Gbps for the connection, though it may provide more if requested by ASTI for particular needs.
PLDT said it will take about a month at most to operationalize the contract and have the connections put in place.
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