M247, together with other major players from the Internet industry, such as the BBC, IXReach and TelecityGroup, co-sponsored the launch event of IX Manchester, the UK’s newest Internet Exchange Point (IXP), staged recently in an impressive BBC venue at MediaCity in Manchester.
In common with all IXPs, IX Manchester under the management of LINX, the massive London Internet Exchange, is a not-for-profit and neutral body where networks of Internet Service Providers, telecommunications carriers, content providers, web hosting companies etc., meet to exchange traffic (peer) with one another.
Many major capital cities in the connected world have such Internet Exchanges and it’s a mark of Manchester’s importance that this kind of thing is even possible at all since the viability of an IXP is totally dependent on fast and resilient networks being already in existence in the Manchester region. Without IX Manchester, many people might be surprised to learn that a vast amount of Internet traffic is first of all routed through London before finally being back-hauled to the end user who might well be located hundreds of miles away in the north of the UK. An untenable situation for major regions outside London that slows things down and is costly to manage.
The event was opened by Brandon Butterworth, Chief Scientist of the BBC and key speakers drawn from the best of the region’s Internet Industry gave presentations to a largely technically adept audience.
As a measure of our commitment to IX Manchester, Technical Director Chris Byrd attended the event along with four other colleagues from M247. “In general, everyone who was there realised the importance of getting this up and running very soon. The presentation I gave to the room simply reinforced the strength of everyone’s opinion that it’s vital to make this happen” said Chris. “Also, from a business perspective it was useful to get feedback from a few “Industry” people who simply didn’t realise just how significant Manchester is in terms of the volumes of traffic that organisations such M247 carries through the city. We were also keen to get across our interest in ensuring that M247 is more than capable of featuring strongly in the formation and future of IX Manchester. With such a major investment in our network and huge connectivity capacity, we are confident that our two carrier-neutral Manchester datacentres will form a vital part of the IX Manchester platform over the coming months”.
John Souter, CEO of LINX says "Manchester already has a thriving Internet community and is the natural location for LINX to launch its first region peering point. In launching IX Manchester before the 2012 Olympic Games we expect to see some immediate benefits for members connected to the exchange over this period.