Unfortunately, IXPs can be found in fewer than 60 areas across the United States Connected Nation believes that the construction of new IXPs will be an essential step toward closing the Digital Divide.
By placing carrier-neutral IXPs in additional - and critical - locations across the United States we can expand access to include millions more Americans. Furthermore, adding an IXP to a rural or underserved area decreases costs for local, smaller internet providers - which is passed along to area businesses, community organizations, and residents.
Yes. Congress has made an unprecedented amount of federal funding available to build broadband infrastructure. IXP development is eligible under at least three federal programs. Our team can help you navigate the process.
An internet exchange point (IXP) is a physical building through which local ISPs, cloud services, content delivery networks, and internet protocol (IP) networks of all types exchange internet traffic between their networks.
An internet exchange (IX) is an ethernet switch housed within the IXP that enables IP network operators to exchange internet traffic with one another over the switch fabric. IP network operators connect to an IX port, which allows them to connect to other networks and exchange traffic, which is known as “peering,” depending on their respective peering policies.
The short answer is “no.”
The long answer is that some IXP facilities are not “carrier-neutral.” This means they primarily benefit some networks over others. A carrier neutral IXP, on the other hand, offers a level playing field where networks of all types and sizes may freely interconnect with one another. That neutrality also drives more networks to establish a presence in the IXP, which benefits everyone.
When a community or region lacks an IXP, local service providers must pay to backhaul traffic to the nearest IXP, which may be hundreds of miles away, to exchange information with other networks. This is incredibly inefficient, and it makes accessing the cloud and content seem slow and less responsive. It also means that local broadband providers pay higher rates than they should for wholesale internet access, or “IP transit.” These costs are passed along not only to individual subscribers but also to schools, hospitals, and small businesses. IXPs can serve as a local marketplace where wholesale backbone providers compete for local business, resulting in as much as 90% reduction in cost.
Beyond driving down costs and making the exchange of traffic more efficient, IXPs also future-proof communities as new technologies and applications become available. The massive explosion of IoT (or Internet of Things) devices means that efficient traffic routing and local interconnection with cloud services are going to be increasingly important. Cities and regions without a carrier-neutral facility and IXP are simply going to be relegated to a second-class internet experience. For those areas, the Digital Divide will only continue to widen, negatively affecting economic development, education, health care, and nearly every aspect of modern life.
IXPs were first established in major cities like New York, Atlanta, Dallas, and Seattle - but IXPs can now be found in about 57 cities across the United States.
Currently, 14 states and 3 U.S. territories do not have an IXP at all — putting those areas at a significant disadvantage to their counterparts. And even states like Texas that are home to multiple IXPs may still have regions within them (e.g., the Texas panhandle) that warrant IXP development. We believe that every regional hub community in the U.S., particularly if it is home to a public university, should have a carrier-neutral IXP.
How we can help: Connected Nation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that is working to develop carrier-neutral IXP facilities in new cities and regions across the United States - an important step in fulfilling our mission to close the Digital Divide for all people. From site selection and engineering & design to ongoing operations and maintenance, Connected Nation has assembled a team of industry veterans with decades of experience in the development and operations of these IXP facilities.
Contact our team of industry veterans and IXP experts now at email@example.com with the subject line IXP or fill out the contact form.