Frustrations of a PC gamer in the Philippines
Even as Internet access and bandwidth in the Philippines continues to grow, we gamers of this lovely Republic still face a number of challenges when it comes to playing online games. As we all know in PC gaming today, especially on online multiplayer games, having a low a latency / ping means a world of difference when you play. In the Philippines, we really don't have a legitimate Game Server Provider (GSP) to host proper online games for us, so we are forced to play in servers which are hosted in neighboring countries. This does not sound as bad as it seems, until your ISP suddenly stops peering well to that Singaporean server you were playing on ever since last week. That was my reality with my former ISP, PLDT. Don't get me wrong though, the bandwidth allocation was pretty constant and rarely did I have any service interruption. But what's the use of all this bandwidth if I can't play a smooth game online? But the most baffling and irritating part of all of this is that PLDT used to peer well with Singaporean servers. I had to do some investigating on this matter.
To keep a long story short and to save you from any technical details, PLDT takes the long route around before the data packets land in Singapore, thus resulting in the increased ping. I've sent countless of emails and Traceroute reports regarding this issue, but sadly, they weren't able to give me a viable solution.
This forced my hand to switch to Globe, and by far I am very satisfied with the ping results and consistency that I'm getting while playing in Singaporean servers. So far so good. I'm really happy with the switch and have been getting really consistent and low pings with Singaporean and Japanese game servers during the Battlefield 3 Beta. Now I don't want to speculate on why Globe gets a favorable ping with other Asian countries, but maybe, just maybe, you might want to check who their major stockholder is.
Another issue that we Filipino PC gamers face is the domestic peering between different ISPs. Just to break it down, imagine this situation: you and your next door neighbor want to play a game of Left 4 dead 2, and you couldn't be assed to find a decent server. So you guys decide to just directly play with each other since that's possible in the game. You're on PLDT Mydsl and your neighbor is on Globe DSL. You load up the Dark Carnival campaign (because the finale is awesome) and then your neighbor connects promptly. But disappointment and rubberbanding suddenly ensues as you discover he is pinging a whopping 300ms.
In theory, since you're practically living right beside each other, the ping shouldn't matter, but since PLDT wouldn't allow domestic peering with other ISPs in the country (Globe, Sky, Bayantel), you are really forced in a bad situation where its either you chose to play online multiplayer games with your fellow Filipino PLDT subscribers, or you and your buds could move to Globe and play with the rest of Southeast Asia.
I'll just leave that last statement for you to decide on yourself.