Fifteen years of Internet Exchange

TOP-IX is 15 years old. It’s time to tell the story of the IXP: its birth, its evolution and the latest developments.

In april 2002, when it all began, there were 13 consortium members. Nowadays the connected networks are 100 (not all members of the consortium). As Consortium activities go beyond the Internet Exchange, some subjects reach the Consortium without having interconnection needs, while others connect to the IX without becoming member of the consortium.

Let’s go back to april 2002. What was the situation when the idea of establishing the Consortium took shape? Here the memories of Giovanni Ferrero, first President of TOP-IX Consortium:

We were in the late 90’s: the Internet began to spread among public administrations. As Ferrero explains, the CSI was committed to have Turin connected to the big Internet. In 2002, this idea led to the birth of TOP-IX Consortium, which was characterized by great originality since the beginning. The Consortium operated first in Turin, then in Piedmont, then extended to the Valle d’Aosta.

In these 15 years, numbers have grown and the characteristics of the connected networks have changed. Here the most imprtant steps of Internet Exchange history:

Why it’s important to promote the gorwth of local IXPs? How many IXPs are there in Europe and which is their role? These and other questions are answered by Bijal Sanghani, Head of Secretariat Euro IX.

In 2017 which is the picture of TOP-IX Internet Exchange and its connected networks?


The interconnection between the networks is evolving. In addition to traditional IP interconnections, peering and transit; layer 2 interconnections are spreading among Ethernet connectivity providers and towards the various public clouds on the market. TOP-IX has always worked on IP interconnections, allowing its affiliates to sell / buy transit.

Since last year TOP-IX has created a Marketplace section for those who want to use the TOP-IX platform to buy / sell services by interconnecting their networks.

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Furthermore, remote peering always plays an important role in increasing the number of connected networks. Partnership with other IXPs is crucial to fueling demand, but not to providing connectivity solutions. That is why remote peering is no longer operated with other IXPs, but through partnership with carriers or ISPs.

TOP-IX is particularly active in the national and international community of the Internet, as a member of Euro-IX, Ripe Ncc, Aiip, Cfwa and has provided an active contribution to the birth of ITNog.