Manila, PH – Users will now be able to access government websites faster with the signing of the memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the ICT Office of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and telecommunications provider PLDT on Monday, September 7.

The MOA shall signal the tie up between the parties wherein PLDT, shall provide the DOST through the Advanced Science and Technology Institute, (ASTI) operator of PHOpenIX, the country’s first and only neutral Internet Exchange, fiber optic connectivity from PLDT’s Pasig City Vitro Data Center to ASTI; becoming PHOpenIX third Physical connection point, together with Globe’s MK1 in Makati and ASTI in Diliman.

PLDT signs up as PHOpenIX Third Connection Point – Executives of PLDT along with officers of the DOST – ICT Office and DOST Secretary Mario G. Montejo with Senator Bam Aquino at the ceremonial signing of an agreement wherein PLDT provides fiber optic connectivity and rack space for the Philippine Open Internet Exchange (PHOpenIX) operated by DOST. photo by Maan Hernandez – Lara

Through the new link between PLDT and PHOpenIX, private networks hosted with PLDT can opt to connect and peer directly to PHOpenIX, allowing for faster access to content hosted on the Internet Exchange’s peered networks.

At the MOA signing, the ICT Office of the DOST also announced the designation of PHOpenIX as the official Government Internet Protocol Exchange (G/IPX) as specified in Administrative Order  (AO) No. 39.

Internet exchanges (IX) allow for Internet data to be transmitted between users within a locality to take shorter route through an IX rather than taking a longer route outside the country. Most of the country’s providers are not peered through an IX, which is one of the reasons Internet access in the country is relatively slow compared to its neighboring countries where providers are peered through a neutral IX.

According to Undersecretary Louis Casambre of the DOST-ICT Office; “We have come to a point in our history where a bigger picture now looms in the horizon over both government and providers from the private sector. We are at the dawn where true peering which is the exchange between previously independent networks will soon benefit the customers of each of these networks.”

Senator Benigno ‘Bam’ Aquino IV, DOST Secretary Mario Montejo, DOST Undersecretary Louis Napoleon Casambre, and ASTI Director Dennis Villorente shall represent the government side while Ernesto Alberto signs in behalf of PLDT.

Aquino affirmed that, “The MOA signing does open a lot of opportunities in the future. At the minimum, our government sites are now safer and more efficient. It does open the doors for other partnerships down the line.”

Senator Bam Aquino addressing some queries regarding the effect of the PLDT-DOST partnership to the current Internet situation in the Philippines.

Meanwhile, Alberto stressed that the PLDT Group has always been one with the Department of Science and Technology 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 resources that we can humbly contribute.”

“This MOA is a testament of our commitment to work together with the DOST on its laudable undertakings.” Mr. Alberto Added.

With the signing of this MOA, the DOST-ICT Office is optimistic that access to government websites shall be faster for Filipinos, According to Secretary Mario G. Montejo, “For us in government. This signing signals a step towards the right direction where the government and private corporations can work hand in hand for the benefit of the many.”