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An Internet exchange point (IXP) is a physical infrastructure through which Internet service providers (ISPs) and content delivery networks (CDNs) exchange Internet traffic among their networks (autonomous systems) through the concept of settlement free Peering. The primary purpose of most IXPs is to allow networks to interconnect directly, via the exchange, rather than going through one or more third-party networks, called Transit, and paying the third party for that traffic. The advantages of direct interconnection are bandwidth, latency, and cost.

  1. Bandwidth: Leveraging the national backbone of our partner IP-Max, we can interconnect our three points of presence, one in Zurich, one in Geneva and one in Lugano. Sending traffic to any peering partner across FreeIX can be done at line rate from a technical point of view. FreeIX encourages the settlement free high bandwidth exchange of network traffic between its members, because it leads to a higher quality and more resilient / sustainable internet.
  2. Latency: Most large Transit providers interconnect usually only in large metropolitan areas. It's entirely likely that traffic between two parties in Lugano, is sent to Frankfurt or Rome and back. Customers often have very limited control over the physical path their traffic takes. Connecting to FreeIX guarantees a latency that is equal to the physical limitations of fiber networks -- in other words, it's 4ms from Geneva to Zurich over a fiber backbone network, so it's also 4ms between peers on FreeIX!
  3. Cost: Many internet exchanges these days ask for per-month port costs that start to exceed what one might pay for transit, especially at low volumes. This is an unfortunate market effect (the race to the bottom), where transit providers are continuously lowering their prices to compete. And while transit providers can make up to some extent due to economies of scale, at some point they are mostly all of equal size, and thus the only thing that can flex is quality of service.
The benefit of using an internet exchange is to reduce the portion of an ISP's (and CDN's) traffic that must be delivered via their upstream transit providers, thereby reducing the average per-bit delivery cost and as well reducing the end to end latency as seen by their users or customers. Furthermore, the increased number of paths available through the IXP improves routing efficiency and fault-tolerance, and it avoids traffic going the scenic route to a large hub like Frankfurt, London, Amsterdam, Paris or Rome, if it could very well remain local to Switzerland. At FreeIX, we believe in an open and affordable internet, and would like to do our part: TenGigabit and Gigabit ethernet ports at FreeIX, for the foreseeable future, will have no recurring cost. So beyond operational costs such as router ports and datacenter cross connects, sending and receiving traffic from FreeIX is, well, free of charge.

Free-IX is maintained by the following people:

  • Frederic Gargula (FMAX1-RIPE)
  • Pim van Pelt (PBVP1-RIPE)

This content maybe isn't too impressive, but at least we changed the default IXPManager page =)

Technical Support Summary

Phone: +41 (22) 510 5400
Hours: 09:00 to 18:00 GMT, Monday to Friday
24h Emergency: +41 (79) 8555715 (Fred)
+41 (44) 6681929 (Pim)