MANXIX

MANXIX exchange launched

06 July 2020 | Melanie Mingas

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The self-governing Isle of Man now has its own not-for-profit, fully independent internet exchange – a first on the island.

The development means Isle of Man Networks/ASNs will no longer need to peer at LINX London, LINX Manchester or through upstream transit; Inter-ASN latency can be ~25ms (IOM to IOM).

As part of the exchange fabric, the Island will also have its own root nameservers, to backup operations should there be a loss of off-Island connectivity and decreasing the reliability on London based infrastructure.

BlueWave has also recently established a high bandwidth route straight from the Isle of Man to its main data hub for the north UK.

Founding board member and BlueWave MD, Shelley Langan-Newton, said: “As the use of the internet continues to increase at a rapid rate, so does the need for networks to be able to exchange traffic or peer more effectively. ManxIX has been founded to offer one of the most cost-effective peering platforms in the industry while enabling service providers to improve performance, speed and reliability.

Connectivity to the exchange can be achieved via any of the aql or BlueWave carrier neutral sites and BlueWave said any operator with a presence on these sites will benefit from a free interconnect installed to the exchange.

Langan-Newton  added: “It also brings great value to the island by attracting some of the biggest network operators in need of interconnection capability to the Isle of Man. We’re also on the lookout for new board members to join us on our quest for the good of the internet.

BlueWave’s CEO, Professor Adam Beaumont, has been appointed chair of the exchange. Beaumont co-founded the UK’s first exchange outside of London, in the northern city of Leeds in 2008.

Located in the Irish Sea, IoM is not part of the UK or EU, and a large proportion of its GDP is derived from its major offshore financial sector, cementing the island’s reputation as a tax haven. However, tech has emerged as a driving economic force in recent years and currently the sector accounts for 30% of the local economy.

Digital infrastructure is being developed at pace and the island is currently home to six data centres. Although there have been several past efforts to create an Isle of Man IXP, BlueWave said that but due to a lack of enthusiasm or perceived need amongst operators, nothing ever came to fruition.

Alfred Cannan MHK, Minister for the Treasury on the Isle of Man, said: “The Isle of Man is home to a rapidly expanding digital industry, particularly in new technologies such as AI, Blockchain and Reg-Tech. The exchange will allow faster routing of internet traffic on the island, providing more efficient video collaboration, better access to high definition content and also provide an important component in rolling out 5G connectivity. The internet exchange is a great example of private sector cooperation for the benefit of all.”