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August 23, 2016

LINX calls for Scottish government to back regional exchange

News: London Internet Exchange wants backing for IXScotland.

By Hannah Williams

The London Internet Exchange (LINX) is calling for more ISPs and local businesses in Scotland to join a regional IX outside London, in efforts to lower latency and accelerate connectivity for Scottish networks and users.

Following the release of a report by Audit Scotland and the Scottish Government, LINX has pushed back at the Scottish Government and urged greater support for its regional exchange, IXScotland.

The report identified their vision for a world-class digital Scotland by the year 2020 with an infrastructure plan of ‘6 pillars’, with an internet exchange being one of the key factors. Noticeably however, there was no reference made to the fact that LINX had established a similar exchange almost three years ago.

IXScotland was launched by the London Internet Exchange in 2013. The aim was to encourage ISPs and content providers with a customer base in Scotland to join the exchange and help “keep local traffic local”, reducing the need to exchange traffic in London. This would result in lower latency and faster connectivity for Scottish networks and Internet users.

However, the majority of local internet traffic in Scotland still has to travel via Internet exchanges in England before reaching the end user.

Since then, the majority of local internet traffic in Scotland is expected to travel via internet exchanges in England, such as one of LINX’s London Networks before reaching its end user.

LINX CEO John Souter said: “We worked very closely with the Scottish Government when launching IXScotland but unfortunately growth at the exchange has not been as rapid as we would have liked… IXScotland has so much potential.

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LINX launched a similar regional exchange in the north of England just a year before IXScotland. LINX has over 700 members ranging from the largest Internet service providers and telecoms companies in UK to the most popular streaming, search engine and social media providers.

James King from Scottish Futures Trust said: “We have taken the lead to develop an approach to implement the Scottish Government’s World-Class digital vision.”

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