Bandwidth for Vendor Lock-in

The eUP Project champions more internet bandwidth. Of course UP needs faster internet. Who doesn't? But here's how an otherwise beneficial goal can reinforce an existing lopsided arrangement and run contrary to the University's interest.

Below is mostly the eUP-proposed bandwidth increase for UP constituents.

The current providers of bandwith are PREGINET and local ISPs (Internet Service Providers). The main question is: Will the increase be sourced primarily from PREGINET or local ISPs?

If PREGINET, it's not much of an issue because it's like government money going back to government and PREGINET can just collect at cost whatever 3rd party providers charge in order to fulfill UP's requirements going to the cloud (the Internet beyond UP's WAN) to access services like Google, Facebook, Youtube.

There's a good chance that will not be case. Likely it's going more to ONE local ISP (yes, fearless forecast!) than PREGINET, and by local ISP, eUP wants PLDT/ePLDT--the biggest (not necessarily the best) player in Philippine internet. Why?

Earlier on, eUP decided to put eUP servers on PLDT's Vitro datacenter. It's a modus that feeds on itself. If the eUP servers were placed within PREGINET, that would have been a different story. But since they're on PLDT territory and PLDT hardly interconnects with other local ISPs, the arrangement lends itself towards pricing bandwidth in PLDT's favor. It will "force" eUP to specify in the "bidding" any of the following specs:

  • "direct connectivity to eUP cloud infrastructure and services" (or some words to that effect)
  • "nationwide presence" (or some words to that effect)
  • "ability to provide direct links to all UP campuses" (or some words to that effect)

And who do you think will win in the "competitive bidding"? O, perhaps Eupleaks can just read minds!

Already UP is on vendor lock-in situation with Oracle. With SAIS, HRIS, FMIS, etc. using Oracle, UP is dependent on Oracle and cannot use competing solutions without substantial switching costs. With PLDT for networks to run eUP's servers, yet another layer of vendor lock-in is slowly but surely being imposed upon the University. Checkmate!

As it is, the cost of eUP is already hundreds of millions of pesos of taxpayers' money. Putting the University on vendor lock-in ensures that favored vendors have the same UP cow to milk for a very long time.


Update: Sept 17, 2015
The results are in. And the winner of the bidding is (drumroll please)... IP-Converge, a wholly-owned subsidiary of ePLDT!