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IXLeeds gathering momentum.

Posted Jul 30th 2011

Left to Right : Will Hargrave (Director, LONAP), Mike Hughes, Adam Beaumont, Managing Director (aql, Thomas Mangin (Director EXA Networks), Mark Fordyce (Managing Director, York Data Services), Emma Frost (IXLeeds), Daniel Piekacz (EXA Networks), Rob Evans (JANET(UK)), George Taylor (Digital City Region). The 'photographer' was Andy Davidson (Director, Hurricane Electric))

The meeting of members of the leeds-based peering point, IXLeeds, was held on the 22nd of July at aql's Leeds head office. Present were representatives of the industry from companies including Netsumo, Digital City Region, EXA Networks, York Data Services, Hurricane Electric, JANET(UK), LONAP, Sleek and others.

The meeting was to acknowledge that the exchange requires a more formal constitution as it grows and starts to play a more critical part in West Yorkshires internet infrastructure. It was agreed that a formal incorporation would be pursued immediately and all members would sign up to a constitution and governance framework.

This was a great day for IXLeeds - all the members round the table have supported the aims and objectives of Leeds' first internet exchange for over two years and all were excited to be part of the formation decision process. Dr Adam Beaumont, MD of aql commented "We're excited to support IXLeeds and to play our part in making it happen. It's a success story of co-operation between all the significant regional operators and will bring benefits to both the ISP's and the end users".

Benefits of IXLeeds - a Comment from aql's MD

I've been doing the 'circuit' with a talk entitled 'IXLeeds - Putting Leeds on the Internet Map'. The talk is intended to de-jargon the concept of an internet exchange point. What's most important is that the region understands what it is and why they need it..

The benefits of a regional exchange are several-fold :

  • Reduces the cost of ISP's getting data from their end users to the content providers (eg iplayer) - and vice versa.
  • Increases the quality of the links between regional ISP's - Did you know that most regional ISP's send your traffic all the way to London if they need to access another network in Leeds? This is bad for service quality - particularly if the traffic is 'VoIP' or streaming.
  • Reduces Leeds dependency on London. This is possibly the most important point. By connecting regional ISP's and international carriers locally, it's possible to ensure that traffic is sent out of the UK 'sideways' - ie without hitting London.

Why is it Important for Leeds to be less dependent on London?

Leeds is the home of the second largest financial centre in the UK and is either the primary or secondary site for the financial institutions upon which the entire economy is dependent.

Many of these firms choose Leeds as a second location outside of London, believing that this gives them a good disaster recovery plan should there be an issue affecting the capital. However, without a regional peering point, it's very possible that an internet incident in the capital could affect both the Leeds and London based offices of these insitutions.

IXLeeds will provide the forward-looking strategy to minimise the impact to regional infrastructure of any non-regional issue and to ensure that Leeds connectivity is both competitive and reliable.

aql IXLeeds Data SIM Lanyard
And... the rest.
IXLeeds members enjoying the round table discussion

On an unrelated topic.. we couldn't resist providing personalised lanyards on 3G data SIM cards. The 3G data cards provided were kindly sponsored by EXA networks who are an aql partner, operating the 3G data cards on their own static IP addresses.