The INTERNET EXCHANGE (IX) is a neutral point on the worldwide Internet network that interconnects various autonomous Internet operator networks. These may be connectivity providers, citizens, businesses, public administrations (Internet Service Provider – ISP), application providers or content providers.
The benefits for operators connecting through an IX include:
- improved performance;
- traffic control;
- security from external attack, such as DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service);
- flexibility managing interconnections.
The INTERNET EXCHANGE plays a fundamental role in how the Internet develops around the world,
helping to provide faster, more reliable cost-effective connections.
IXPs are also a tool to incubate and develop new solutions and paradigms on the Internet, as well as representing a natural place to meet, cooperate and develop common initiatives and shared experiences.
In the case of TOP-IX, the Internet Exchange is fully integrated into the regional plan to deploy broadband throughout the territory (WI-PIE Program). This has allowed new communities across the territory (where territorial community is taken as meaning a set of players in a specific area of the region, regardless of whether these might be local authorities, companies, academic institutions or research centres) to take advantage of TOP- IX as a natural means of connecting to the global information society and integrating with it.
Since 2002 TOP-IX Consortium is a member of Euro-IX (European Internet Exchange Association) that was formed in May 2001 with the intention to further develop, strengthen and improve the Internet Exchange Point (IXP) community.