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Big Data Analytics: PHOpenIX and PH Bandwidth

By: Wilson Chua


Wow! The Philippines just overtook Vietnam, Indonesia and Cambodia in Internet speeds. 22 million records formed the basis of the analysis. Chris Ritzo, MLabs supplied the data. And Ms Grace Mirandilla Santos helped with our analysis. Thanks!


Why and who made this happen?

This graph below might answer this. It shows the bandwidth speeds by types of organizations. Public entities like Preginet, DOST, DOF, IRRI, UP Diliman and others are tagged as [Public]. PLDT and GLOBE are tagged as [TELCO]. All other ISPs and networks are labeled as [PRIVATE]. [NULL] tags refer to ISPs/networks that are NOT peered with PHOpenIX.

[PUBLIC] organizations are the ones that powered the bandwidth increases. [TELCO]s and [PRIVATE] orgs showed modest speed increases. While the NON-peered networks [NULL] dragged down the average speeds.

[PUBLIC] organizations are the ones that powered the bandwidth increases. [TELCO]s and [PRIVATE] orgs showed modest speed increases. While the NON-peered networks [NULL] dragged down the average speeds.

You can examine this from another perspective – Peered and non-peered traffic.

This graph segregates the bandwidth into two. One line charts the bandwidth speeds of peered networks. And another line charts the bandwidth speeds of non-peered networks.


You will notice that peered ISPs are generally faster. But why is peering faster?

Peering or Internet exchange points are physical connections. These connections enable networks to exchange traffic among themselves. They are typically made up of ISPs and Content providers.

Peering points are like bridges. They connect your place to your neighbors across the river. Without those bridges, you need to travel farther using a ‘longer’ route to get to your neighbors. Similarly, in the Internet world, peering provides these ‘shortcuts’. It results in shorter travel time among peered networks. You get better internet when both parties are on peered networks.

If you manage a network, please check out the “PhNOG 2017: Our Philippine Internet”. The registration link is here:

Oh by the way, did you ask your internet provider if they are peered yet?

My thanks to Mr Joseph Tabadero Jr for debugging this piece of R code that I used with Tableau. The R code detects and filters out anomalies in the MLab data. For the benefit of fellow Tableau and R users, here is the code:


a <- rep(1, length( as.numeric(na.omit(.arg1))))
a[findpeaks( as.numeric(na.omit(.arg1)),threshold=quantile( as.numeric(na.omit(.arg1)),.95),sortstr=FALSE)[,2]]=0
AVG([datafieldname])) = 0
THEN “Outlier”
ELSE “Normal”

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  • Wilson Chua

    One of my FB Friends (Em Jay) used the Mall analogy to explain peering. I think it is a better concept.

    Imagine there are no malls. For each store you would need to buy from, you would have to travel far.

    Now imagine a super Mall where all the stores you need are in one location. NOw you just walk to each of the stores. No need to suffer EDSA traffic.

    That is the same with Internet peering/ exchange points. The ISPs are interconnecting with each other to come up with an Internet Mall of sorts. So you dont have to travel far.

    Using this Mall analogy, i think it will be clearer why network professionals are clamoring for ALL ISPs in the Philippines to finally join. The more there are in the ‘mall’, the better it is for all. Everybody benefits.

  • John Robert Mendoza

    The results are quite interesting. Thank you to all who worked on this analysis and for sharing the results. :)

    We also did a similar research study last year that alluded briefly to the benefits of multilateral peering from the viewpoint of an ISP network participating in an IXP (PhOpenIX). Our analysis showed that not only does peering improve the capacity of the local Internet infrastructure, it also aids in driving the demand for locally hosted content and creates a level playing field for smaller ISPs in terms of access to popular web services (e.g. Google, Facebook,…). This means equal opportunities for local ISPs as they can opt to acquire more subscribers without investing more on their transit expenses without losing quality of service to their existing customers.

    The research paper is expected to appear on IEEE Xplore anytime soon. I can also be contacted if in case someone is interested to know more about the methodology and the results.

    We need more articles like this one. Our citizens must be better informed about the state of Internet connectivity in our country in order to firmly take a stand on these kind of issues.

    • Grace Mirandilla-Santos

      Hi Mr. John Mendoza. Great to hear about your research! Would love to read it once available. You might be interested in attending the Philippines’ 1st IP Peering Forum on March 7 at the City Garden Grand Hotel In Makati. Agree that more research on PH Internet connectivity would be useful not only for building knowledge but more importantly for informing policy direction and decisions.

    • Wilson Chua

      I echo Grace’s sentiments. I would love to read that paper as well. Do ping me when it is out.

    • Björn Boening

      Likewise I’d be interested in reading the study…aaand – thx for trusting in M-Lab data :)