A Closer Look at Internet Exchanges

Last month, we debuted the Internet Exchange layer in the FiberLocator tool. Because this is a new feature, we decided to look a little closer at why adding internet exchanges as a layer is important to our customers, and relevant to locating fiber connectivity in the first place.

At the most basic, an internet exchange is where traffic moves from one network to another. It is a physical address where one network loop can transfer information to another network loop. This is incredibly important to the internet as we know it today, because it allows networks to interact and exchange information with each other directly. When networks or content delivery services can do this instead of working with a third party network, the delivery cost of their service goes down (and route efficiency goes up), which benefits their end users. Since typical traffic through an exchange is not usually billed, the cost of having to “borrow” a different network to connect is eliminated, and those are all savings that can be passed along to customers. The exchange also provides a way to reduce latency, because the exchange can happen at an address that intersects with both companies’ networks. This reduces the need for the data to travel an indirect path to access another network, which could slow down data delivery.

While all of this information makes internet exchanges an important consideration for carriers, they are also hugely important for content delivery companies. Think of the big content delivering companies that we are glued to on a daily basis. Companies like Netflix, Amazon, Spotify. These companies need internet exchanges to be able to share their content across networks efficiently, otherwise they would never have been able to grow like they have. One of the reasons we can stream Netflix almost anywhere in the world for $10/month is definitely due to the utilization of internet exchanges.

FiberLocator will show you not only the address of the internet exchanges, but also what kind of exchange it is and what the name of it is. This will let you know what kind of data is being shared over the exchange; whether it is a video exchange, ad exchange, or internet exchange. Some of them will list multiple types of exchanges, and will let you know which type goes to what destination. When this layer is used on top of our metro or long-haul fiber map layers, it is easy to see how knowing where these exchanges live could help you plan a route for data transport.

We are thrilled to be offering internet exchanges as one of our “connected buildings” options in the program. If you have any questions about how to access the internet exchange layer, you can visit our previous blog post announcing internet exchanges here.  You can also contact your Account Manager, or email sales@fiberlocator.com, for any more specific questions you might have about the updates.

“CFN’s focus from the start has been to improve connectivity and promote competitive broadband for the Central Ohio region. Publishing our asset maps and data in FiberLocator is a critical way we raise visibility for this network and let others…

Columbus FiberNet,
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