IX Leeds and the benefits of regional IXPs: Dr Adam Beaumont speaks at Birmingham Digital Day

Dr Adam Beaumont made an appearance at the Birmingham Digital Day on Thursday 2 May 2013, speaking on the benefits of regional Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) and peering.

The free event, held at the Birmingham Science Park, Aston, provided a forum for businesses and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to discuss the possibilities of Birmingham becoming a truly connected city and the investment in the city’s digital infrastructure.

Organised by by Birmingham City Council and the London Internet Exchange) LINX, the event was also used as a consultation exercise to ascertain as to whether Birmingham could be a viable location for an IXP.

Dr Adam Beaumont, aql’s CEO and founder, gave a talk on how IX Leeds, Leeds’s independent Internet exchange, has enabled effective peering in the Yorkshire region, reducing the county’s dependence on London.

IX Leeds is hosted within one of aql’s datacentres in the heart of Leeds and has provided a Layer-2 platform allowing networks to interconnect and providing benefits in terms of cost, latency and bandwidth since 2010. Dr Beaumont also sits of the board of IX Leeds, making him the ideal speaker for extolling the benefits of regional IXPs.

“IX Leeds was really the first step in Leeds’s journey towards becoming a super connected city,” said Dr Adam Beaumont. “Having it’s own IXP situated within a carrier neutral datacentre brought major carriers and Internet Service Providers to the city and set the standard for a connected future.

“Now we at aql are working with our partners at Leeds City Council to improve the city’s digital infrastructure to take it to the next level. There’s still work to be done, but the steps we’ve taken already have made Leeds a more connected city than it was previously, and businesses are reaping the benefits.

“It’s important that major cities such as Birmingham follow our example. In these harsh economic times major cities must become smarter to enable business and act as the catalysts for economic resurgence.”

Other speakers on the day came from Birmingham City Council, who outlined their vision for Birmingham as a smart city, and from LINX, who gave the delegates present a crash course in IXPs and the benefits of regional peering.

The conference in Birmingham and the discussions around an independent IXP in the West Midlands is a clear indicator that the digital landscape continues to change and that connectivity is key. As more and more companies demand efficient communication and resilient connectivity built on a sound technological infrastructure, more UK cities must look to follow the example set by Leeds and take steps to becoming smarter or be left behind.

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