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Published on Apr 21, 2017
Mr. Art Samaniego, Jr.
Dear Mr. Samaniego,
We are writing this letter to clarify and correct claims published in the column written by Mr. Wilson Chua entitled “BASS uncovers anomalous PLDT routing” which was published in the April 21, 2017 issue of the Manila Bulletin.
As background, PLDT signed last year a bilateral peering agreement with the Philippine Open Internet Exchange (PHOpenix) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) which provides PLDT, Smart and Sun subscribers direct -- and thus faster -- access to the content of government websites served by the PHOpenix.
The article claims however that recent BASS tests showed that PLDT was not using this direct link and was routing traffic meant for the DOST servers in PHOpenix "overseas to the US and then back to the Philippines." As a result, traffic was considerably delayed.
The article went on to say that their BASS test results as of April 18, 2017 shows that "Globe outperforms PLDT".
To clarify what really happened, we need to point out that our bilateral peering agreement provides that it is the DOST that provides the list of IP addresses that will be "advertised" or opened to PLDT subscribers. The agreement further provides that this list can be expanded and that all that DOST needs to do is to notify PLDT.
The article said that the BASS tests, upon which its claims are based, were conducted by requesting files from mirror.pregi.net. Upon investigation, it turns out that the IP address of mirror.pregi.net is not in the list of IP addresses given by DOST to PLDT upon the signing of the bilateral peering agreement in April 2016. As result, this was not advertised or opened to PLDT subscribers. In that case, it is not at all surprising that traffic to this address would not have the benefit of using a direct link and would thus be routed in a circuitous way.
In this regard, it is worth asking if mirror.pregi.net is advertised or open to Globe subscribers.
Moreover, what makes this episode even more colorful is that when we checked our network records, we discovered that the IP address of mirror.pregi.net was opened or advertised to PLDT subscribers on April 19, 2017, the day after the BASS tests were supposedly made as stated by the article. Despite the terms of the bilateral agreement requiring notification of any changes, PLDT did not receive any notification on this change of status.
We would like to assure our subscribers that they have full, unfettered, direct access to the IP addresses which the DOST has given to us. And we would be very happy to be given more IP addresses so that our customers would enjoy an even better internet experience.
Forgive the analog analogy, all it takes is a phone call.
Ramon R. Isberto
Head, PLDT Public Affairs