The world's largest Internet exchange has cut the prices it charges to Internet service providers (ISPs) because growing levels of Internet traffic are leading to a better-than-expected financial position.
LINX - the London Internet Exchange - connects the networks of ISPs and similar organisations through switches which are housed in six colocation facilities in London linked by dedicated fibre optic cables. It is a mutual organisation, owned by the more than 170 ISPs and content service delivery providers which have connections there.
LINX has cut the costs of key connection facilities - 1 gigabit and 10 gigabit Ethernet ports on its switches - by 15 per cent.
In an email to members LINX chief executive John Souter says: "This follows an internal review of our financial situation which shows that we are ahead of budget at present, due in part to the fact that we are growing faster than the assumptions made in the summer of 2004.
"The board considers that we are in a strong position, with good reserves and better than expected growth. As a mutual association, we should reduce prices whenever a suitable opportunity presents itself."
Peering (the connection of networks to allow traffic to move from one to another) is a significant expense for ISPs.
LINX sales and marketing manager Vanessa Evans said: "LINX's lower pricing comes at a time when many ISPs are seeking to attract new customers through lower prices for broadband services. It offers them an opportunity to cut costs in an increasingly price-competitive market for end users."
Internet traffic at LINX is now over 82 gigabits per second at peak times - more than 33 per cent higher than at the same time last year - and LINX's membership has grown by more than 20 per cent over the same period to a total of 180 organisations.
Earlier this year (February 2005) members at LINX's annual general meeting were told that, despite cuts in LINX's membership fees and prices for its services in 2004 and expenditure of more than £700,000 on new equipment, the organisation was able to increase its reserves to around £2.7 million.
Notes to editors:
1. LINX is a mutual, not-for-profit organisation whose members include almost all the major UK ISPs and content delivery service providers plus many from the USA, mainland Europe, the Far East and Africa. Every member of LINX has an equal vote in the management of the organisation's affairs and in the election of its board of directors (formally the 'LINX Council').
2. More than 90 per cent of the Internet traffic exchanged between ISPs in the UK passes through LINX equipment. Peak traffic flows across LINX equipment now total around 82 gigabits per second.
3. The connection of Internet networks at an exchange point such as LINX is known as 'peering'.
4. The Internet traffic at LINX consists of a wide variety of data including website downloads, business information and e-mails. However, one gigabit is roughly equivalent to 60,000 average email messages - so peak traffic at LINX would now accommodate more than 4.5 million email messages per second.
For more information contact:
Vanessa Evans or Malcolm Hutty
The London Internet Exchange
Telephone: +44 (0)1733 207701
Michael Holland or Paul Widdowfield
Smye Holland Associates
Telephone: +44 (0)1733 564906
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