NTC NetMesh Project Launches Web and Mobile Benchmarking Applications
16 December 2019, Quezon City – The DOST Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST –ASTI) and the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) successfully held its Launching Event and Turnover Activity for the NTC NetMesh Project at the Novotel Manila Araneta Hotel, Quezon City.
The NTC NetMesh Project is a collaborative project between DOST-ASTI and NTC, called “NTC Fixed and Mobile Benchmarking System: Regions 1, 4, and 12 (NTC NetMesh)”. The project serves as a pilot implementation aimed to audit and assess the quality of service of local Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the Philippines by conducting benchmarking activities between the advertised speed and the actual internet speed. Outputs of the project are expected to provide inputs to NTC, in its efforts to identify and define regulations that could further improve internet connectivity in the country.
Dr. Wilson Tan and his team from the University of the Philippines were partners in the development of the software application of NetMesh.
The program started off with a welcome message from Mr. Alvin Retamar, the Chief of Solutions and Services Engineering Division (SSED) of the DOST-ASTI, acknowledging everyone who attended the event. “I hope everyone will remember how the government is working hard to further improve the internet in the Philippines, after all it is our common goal to deliver public service.” Retamar said.
From the messages of the NTC Regional Directors, Engr. Danilo O. Cuenca of NTC Region 1 says, “What we have attained from this project, together can be used to gather data in monitoring and measuring broadband speed, wired, and wireless coverage and quality of service as performance indicators of data services in order to maintain and foster competition in the telecommunications industry and promote and protect rights of broadband service.” He also added that the completion of the program is just a starting point and that the bigger task is the implementation. Meanwhile, Engr. Joselito C. Leynes of Region 4 said he is excited with the launch and expects good service after having tested the NetMesh. With both Regional Directors from Regions 1 and 4 nearing their retirement age, they said that the project will indeed be a legacy for them.
Bayani Benjamin R. Lara, the Project Leader of NTC NetMesh Project gave the participants an overview of what the project is all about. “We cannot manage what we cannot measure” he said, saying that this is the key guiding principle of the project in moving forward. “Today’s event is the combination of the hard work that all of us has put in the project for the past year in order for us to reach the collective goal of producing a network measurement tool set that can ensure that the Philippine internet subscribers get the best possible service that they can afford from the telecom providers, ISPs, and cable TV operators in this country,” he added.
The NTC NetMesh Project aims to support Memorandum Circular (MC) 07-08-2015 of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) that addresses the “Rules on the Measurement of Fixed Broadband/Internet Access Service”. It aims to monitor and measure network parameters of internet quality from the perspective of a customer. The beneficiaries of the project are NTC Regional Office 1, 4, and 12, who also funded the one-year endeavor.
The tests for the NTC NetMesh Project are based on RFC 6349. RFC 6349 describes a practical methodology for measuring end- to-end TCP Throughput in a managed IP network. The goal is to provide a better indication regarding user experience. In this framework, TCP and IP parameters are specified to optimize TCP Throughput.
Meanwhile, Mr. Juancho Felipe Coronel, one of the consultants from UP Diliman, shared a presentation of the software development done for the project. He said that the RFC 6349 will be the software NTC will be using internally; it is a laptop-based software which will be used to measure bandwidth. They also have mobile application called ‘NetMesh Mobile’ that will soon be available for download and use which people can use sufficiently to estimate how fast their upload and download speed are.
Coronel also mentioned the NetMesh Web where the map of results, like bandwidth measurements, are stored. This can be accessible through netmesh.pregi.net.
An instructional video on setting up RFC 6349 was also shared in the event which will be provided to NTC regions so that they will know how the field testing goes. This was followed by a demo of the mobile and web base app shown to the attendees of the event.
Finally, the ceremonial turnover was done for NTC Regions 1, 4, and 12 recognizing their support and trust for the implementation of the project.
The NTC NetMesh Project kicked off on February 2019 to enable the NTC to formulate regulations to further improve internet connectivity in the country followed by a training for NTC personnel at Regions1, 4, and 12 on October 2019. By November, an introduction of the project to officials of NTC regional offices and representatives of telecommunication companies in the Philippines.