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November 2, 1999

LINX Celebrates 5th Birthday with Gigabit Ethernet Expansion

By CBR Staff Writer

The London Internet Exchange (LINX) celebrates the fifth anniversary of its launch today, in a week when the organization will meet to beat out a policy on internet privacy, and revealed it is poised to expand its exchange’s gigabit ethernet to nearby co-location facilities.

Friday is the deadline for operators with co-location hosting sites in London to tender bids to become connected to LINX’s Telehouse and TeleCity exchanges with dark fiber LINX will light in the first quarter 2000. The two existing exchanges are already linked by 7km of fiber running gigabit ethernet, and this network will be expanded to include the successful sites. Between 10 and 15 bids are expected, and LINX expects to make a decision within the next three weeks. The winning parties will be able to offer their clients access to the biggest internet exchange, with 90 peering members, in Europe.

Members of the non-profit organization, which is based in Peterborough, will also meet tomorrow to put the finishing touches to its privacy Best Current Practice document. Most UK internet service providers are of the opinion that consumer privacy should be protected at all costs, and both LINX and the Internet Service Providers’ Association have spoken out against the government’s forthcoming Interception of Communications Bill (IOC).

Keith Mitchell, executive chairman of LINX, said that although the UK government seems to be coming around to recognizing the importance of the internet, he is primarily concerned with the role the Home Office is taking. The IOC Bill, he says, is very restrictive and potentially damaging. Demon Internet Ltd, the ISP arm of Thus Plc (formerly ScottishTelecom Plc) estimates the bill, if enacted in its present form, could cost ISPs up to 1m pounds ($1.6) per year to comply with.

LINX and ISPA will meet Patricia Hewitt MP, the government’s newly appointed e-commerce minister, next Tuesday to discuss this and other issues relating to the UK’s Electronic Communications Bill and the European Union’s E-Commerce Directive. Nicholas Lansman from ISPA, said the government’s decision to give e-commerce a Minister of State rather than the previous mere Parliamentary Under-Secretary, was encouraging.

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