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Author Topic: Regional internet exchanges  (Read 83 times)


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Regional internet exchanges
« on: June 12, 2018, 10:31:39 AM »

[I apologise in advance for what is going to be a deeply ignorant and thick question, but here goes. I feel I need to get an education in some basics. Please take pity an an <em lang="gd">amadan</em>.]

Say I wish to talk to a box located in Inverness, or Kirkwall or Edinburgh. I am in Skye, which is a very large Inner Hebridean Island off the West Coast of Scotland.

My ISP is AA (, or Zen, or whoever. Now currently, doing a traceroute with AA, the packets go all the way down to London, probably to The Isle of Dogs, Dockland or wherever, then all the way back up to Inverness or to Kirkwall or just back as far as Edinburgh respectively, in each case.

Could AA or Zen or whoever fix this? Would they save any money by doing so?

There is a regional Internet exchange in Edinburgh, related to Linx, iirc.

* What has to happen to make this work?
* Presumably the ISP has to park some of their own kit at the Edinburgh site ?
* And then they have to sort out the routing to make it more selective? And more complex ? And it hurts your brain more? Or can it all get worked out by clever automagical software based on the ultimate destination?
* Presumably it is all a waste of time unless the other network that the destination lives in can be persuaded to also interconnect at Edinburgh to short-cut the whole thing? Such interconnection could either be direct or indirect.
* Is this a problem with popularising regional internet exchanges - especially in a London-centric country such as the UK - and making them become relevant, a bootstrapping problem but you need pairs (at least) of organisations to both join in or else there is no useful end result ? Is that correct?

Which ISPs do this kind of good thing at exchanges outside London?

I am trying to remember, there is one in Manchester, Edinburgh already mentioned, Cardiff ? Maybe Leeds too, or am I just misremembering?