Internet Exchange Points – The On-Ramps to Extended Network Presence

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Most people use the internet every day without giving much thought to the infrastructure that allows this to happen. It’s assumed that information would naturally flow from point A to point B using the most direct route. However, the people who provide internet services know all too well that this is not always the case. And the ramifications of that can be costly.

To demonstrate, imagine you own a delivery service company, and you have a fleet of trucks that are hauling products to locations throughout the state. You want to ensure customers receive their goods on time, every time, so you invest in reliable vehicles and hire experienced drivers.

Now imagine your drivers have their trucks loaded up and they set out for their respective destinations. But, once they get on the highway, they discover that the off-ramps to their final destinations are all blocked. They have to drive out of their way – maybe even out of state – to get their loads to the consumers who are expecting them and don’t know (or care) that your drivers have met roadblocks they have no control over. So, the drivers reroute – taking indirect roadways and paying tolls they wouldn’t have had to pay if they had access to a direct route. This becomes your fleet’s routine, every day, until the roadblocks are removed, and they can access the fastest, most efficient, and economic routes. Not only is the lack of infrastructure an inconvenience, but it is also expensive. Additionally, it means your competitors located in markets with advanced infrastructure don’t have to deal with these issues – giving them a competitive advantage.

Now, think of that highway system as the information highway that makes up the backbone of the internet. The information highway is designed to transport network traffic much like our roadway system is designed to transport physical traffic. And in both situations, when there are roadblocks such as a lack of off-ramps, called internet exchange points, traffic gets backed up, alternate routes need to be taken and transit costs skyrocket.

Luckily, however, some digital content providers are taking down the internet roadblocks and helping local carriers invest in their networks – gaining access to internet exchange points, or “on-ramps,” through local peering. This exchange of data from one network to another provides a valuable solution for anyone in the IX ecosystem. This means the internet can work optimally by allowing network carriers, operators, and ISPs to exchange data quickly and frequently.

Local Interconnectivity

One example of this is South Carolina, which recently launched the state’s first internet exchange courtesy of DartPoints’ Bridge IX. The internet exchange offers membership into DartPoints’ peering ecosystem, providing local, private access to content, carriers and the services of other members in Columbia, SC as well as many other locations. Carriers also gain access to DartPoints’ partners’ entire Peering portfolio, allowing them to connect to customers in multiple locations across the US and Europe.

Whereas data traffic previously had to leave South Carolina and travel through Atlanta or Charlotte to get from, say, Charleston to Greenville, that traffic now has a more direct route to travel. South Carolina businesses and residents no longer have to rely on exchanges in major neighboring cities like Atlanta; this keeps the state’s traffic local, improves network performance and resiliency, and reduces connectivity costs.

Bridge IX positions South Carolina not only for today’s demand from a digital infrastructure perspective, but it also provides the opportunity for future growth. It’s taking down the roadblocks and offering a leg up on economic development by attracting other enterprises and service providers. By providing a vendor neutral and scalable peering infrastructure that creates and encourages partnership opportunities for all participants, DartPoints is strengthening South Carolina’s internet connectivity ecosystem, and by extension, the state’s economy. States like South Carolina now have the same internet capabilities that are available in large metro cities at the same performance level and the same cost point.

Setting a New Standard

Discover how DartPoints’ Bridge IX℠ dramatically increases network speed, reliability, control and consistency, while reducing connectivity costs and opening new doors to partnerships and services.