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DE-CIX teams with Connected Nation, Newby Ventures to close digital divide in US

Strategic partnership with non-profit organisations designed to enable operator of internet exchanges in smaller cities and rural areas to significantly improve regional online performance

With the connectivity gap between the most serviced and the least served areas still stubbornly wide, internet exchange (IXs) operator DE-CIX has announced a strategic partnership with Connected Nation Internet Exchange Points (CNIXP) for the establishment and operation of edge IXs in unserved and underserved markets in the US, with the aim of significantly improving regional internet performance.

CNIXP is a joint venture between non-profit Connected Nation and Newby Ventures. It has the primary objective of building new carrier-neutral interconnection facilities in at least 125 regional hub communities in 43 states and 4 US territories, with the primary support of public funding.

DE-CIX said the establishment of connectivity hubs – consisting of a neutral IXP facility and a robust, operated and supported IX within the facility – has been demonstrated to provide significant economic advantages for cities and regions.

An IX and its ecosystem of connected networks and datacentres can increase the speed and resilience of internet connectivity through optimising the routes for data transport and offering greater redundant data pathways. It can also bring down the costs of connectivity and enables locally bound data to remain local, rather than taking detours through distant hubs to reach its destination.

Such local interconnection has the potential of propelling the growth of a local digital economy and encouraging not only the attraction of new business to the community, but also enabling the localisation of content, clouds and applications to serve residents and organisations through significantly lower latency connections.

The agreement paves the way for DE-CIX to serve as the IX platform operator within CNIXP facilities. The project will be undertaken as part of the DE-CIX Nexus Program for Edge Interconnection, including integration of each new IX into DE-CIX’s North American and global ecosystem. These IXs will enable one-hop connectivity to the nearest major exchange, including DE-CIX’s IXs in New York, Dallas, Chicago, Phoenix, and Richmond VA, among others, including existing independent IXs. It will aim to foster the development of new connectivity hubs away from the major metropolitan centres.

DE-CIX is confident that its “proven ability to develop successful ecosystems” will be used for the success of the partnership to close gaps in previously greenfield interconnection markets over time. It adds that as an Internet Exchange operator, in the business of interconnection for close to three decades, it has built up the world’s largest datacentre and carrier neutral interconnection ecosystem, bringing together thousands of networks accessible from datacentres in more than 600 cities worldwide.

“People and businesses – and in particular the research and educational sector – in American cities beyond the major hubs need and deserve better internet performance, [with] faster, lower latency; and more resilient and secure access to content, clouds and applications,” said DE-CIX CEO Ivo Ivanov.

“Establishing Internet Exchanges in CNIXP facilities will enable people all over the nation to participate more fully in the digital economy, with all the benefits this brings. DE-CIX is proud to support the expansion of high-performance digital infrastructure together with Connected Nation and Newby Ventures, as a step towards closing the digital divide in the US.”

“With this announcement, we are bringing the best IX platform operator in the world into every IXP facility that we build,” added Connected Nation CEO Tom Ferree.

“The communities we serve deserve no less. Our partnership with DE-CIX is a critical step toward ensuring that small cities and rural areas have the same robust online experience as their urban counterparts, both now and into the future.”

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