Saturday, 8th August 2020

ManxIX builds internet resilience in the Isle of Man

ManxIX launches as the internet exchange on the Isle of Man. The not-for-profit fully independent interconnection point offers a low cost, accessible platform to allow island traffic to stay local and for global networks to be accessible to its members.

ManxIX founder and Bluewave Communications CEO, Professor Adam Beaumont was also the co-founder of the UK’s first outside-of-London internet exchange in Leeds during 2008. This exchange has transformed digital growth in the city and region over the past decade, bringing content networks such as those who deliver Youtube, Apple, Facebook and others, together with the ISP networks that deliver to the end user. This has attracted high profile businesses to Leeds, notably the move of Channel 4 from London, along with much of its supporting ecosystem.

Having an internet exchange on the island not only makes traffic routing more efficient, keeping local traffic moving quickly and efficiently between island residents on the island, but also provides better quality access to media content.

Along with building an internet exchange comes other resilience benefits. As part of the exchange fabric, the Island is also gaining its own ‘root nameservers’, helping the traffic keep operating on the Island 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 heart of the island into their main data hub for the north of the UK.

Professor Adam Beaumont, Chairman of ManxIX comments; “Whilst the Island has strong digital aspirations, these cannot be achieved whilst the cost of global connectivity remains high. To bring down this cost, we must create a competitive marketplace on the Island. An internet exchange is an important first move in this initiative. A few short years after establishing the exchange in Leeds, the costs of wholesale data dropped to the same low prices as the major European internet cities such as London, Frankfurt and Amsterdam. We want to do the same for the Island.”.

“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,” comments Alfred Cannan MHK, Minister for the Treasury, Isle of Man.

“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. 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.” said Founding Board Member, Shelley Langan-Newton.

The internet exchange will provide a Layer-2 platform for network operators and content providers to connect and share Internet Protocol (IP) traffic and help drive down the costs of the internet on the island. Initial connected parties include Bluewave, aql, Google and several root nameserver operators.

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