PTCL provides ‘peering’ bandwidth
KARACHI: The Pakistan Telecommunication Company (PTCL) has announced a ‘peering bandwidth’ facility to the Internet Service Providers (ISP) – first service of its kind in the country – allocating the flow of local data traffic within the country without going international.
“We discussed that in the last board (board of directors) meeting and we have now approved that,” said a higher official in the company.
“The rates we have set are very cheap. I hope the ISPs would definitely benefit and hail the service,” said the official.
Peering in simplest term means to exchange the local and national traffic within the country without going international.
“This means that the ISPs can connect to PTCL’s Pakistan Internet Exchange (PIE) by paying a small amount to exchange the local and domestic traffic within the country without paying for expensive international bandwidth and exchange traffic with other local ISPs,” said the PTCL official.
Elaborating further, the head of a local ISP said that under the current arrangements, the PIE customers accessing the domestic web servers or email servers have to pay the same charges, which they pay for an international access.
“The PIE tariff includes the rental for both international as well as domestic connectivity. There is no peering arrangement available for the exchange of domestic traffic,” he said.
He said that customers subscribing to peering connectivity would not be allowed to access Internet using PIE international bandwidth and would be limited to access the domestic web sites, email servers and other domestic IP services available via the exchange.
Meanwhile, ISPs of the country seeing the decision as a big step forward hoped that it would help them to grow and provide cheaper service.
“Due to an increase of domestic Internet traffic within the country there is a market demand for local peering service,” said Wahaj-us-Sairaj, Convenor ISPs Association of Pakistan.
“It would allow us to access the domestic websites, email services and other domestic IP services available via PIE. We think it’s a very positive step towards strengthening the national Internet backbone indeed,” he added.
He informed the ISPs had received the PTCL circular regarding peering bandwidth decision and showed satisfaction over the set rates.
“It was our long-standing demand. The rates PTCL has set are not very high. It would be affordable for the ISPs,” Sairaj said.
The PTCL – only Internet backbone provider – last month announced to introduce 30 to 40 per cent rate cut in services being provided to the corporate customers.
According to the relief package announced by the PTCL high ups PRI (Prime Rate Interface) line installation charges has been cut down from Rs47, 000 to Rs27, 000, while per month rate has been brought down to Rs4, 000 from Rs6, 000.
Source: The Nation