New Milan IX boss Talotta looks to Roman investments for Interxion
Former Sparkle chairman and CEO Alessandro Talotta has become executive president and chairman of Milan’s internet exchange, with the strategy of expanding, especially to the edge.
The Milan Internet Exchange (MIX), owned by internet service providers, is the biggest in Italy, with 336 connected networks.
Talotta (pictured), who stepped down from Sparkle in 2018 but retained a connection with the TIM international subsidiary, replaces Joy Marino, who chaired MIX from its foundation 20 years ago.
She told business newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore: “It has been an honour to work for 20 years with such a professional and committed. As president I had the opportunity to make MIX one of the most reliable and stable internet exchanges in Europe.”
Talotta takes on the role while continuing to be executive managing director of Interxion Telecom in Italy, part of Digital Realty. He took up that role in May 2020, “and my job is increasing our presence in the Italian market”.
Interxion is investing in a 16,000sq m campus in Rome, due to be ready for service in 2023 so that it can serve central and southern Italy.
Rome is also close to the sea: the centre of Italy’s capital is only 30km from Ostia, the ancient Roman port on the west coast. “We are looking at Rome as a termination point for landing stations for subsea cables, so we can distribute the traffic [across Italy].” According to TeleGeography’s submarine cable map online there are no landing points on the coast apart from Genoa in the north and Civitavecchia, just north of Rome, where there’s a cable to the island of Sardinia.
“We’re doing the due diligence, to understand the geology,” Talotta told Capacity. Unlike further south, in Naples, “there is a manageable risk of earthquakes” in the Rome area.
The attraction is that Rome is one of the biggest cities in western Europe, with a population of 2.8 million, and Naples is not far to the south. The total population of the region is about 7 million, said Talotta. “We will have first mover advantage in Rome,” he added.
In an interview with Italian newspaper la Repubblica, Talotta said that Milan’s MIX “provides interconnection services to 336 networks connected between national and international operators, which make up 75% of total IXP traffic in Italy, guaranteeing improved network performance, greater control of data flows, reduced latency and cost of transport, with a total switched on capacity of 7.2 terabytes and with daily peaks of 1.3 terabytes.”
He noted in that interview: “In Europe the benchmark in large IXPs are London, Amsterdam, Paris and Frankfurt.” Amsterdam “has a traffic capacity of 40 terabytes and 700 connected networks. The distance is visible.”
He told the paper “the first step [for MIX] is to increase the number of nodes to closely serve territories with high development potential. There are many: starting from Rome, which has lagged a bit behind from this point of view, and in fact it is in our objectives.”
MIX in Milan is second in Italy to Namex in Rome, he said. “Then there are smaller IXPs, such as Turin and Padua, mainly linked to the needs of local universities.”
He added: “Rome, which is the fourth European metropolis by population, is a primary objective, and then we go towards the smaller centres, bringing efficient connections everywhere, shortened latency times and transparency in contracts. This is how the digital transition is facilitated.”