How do Regional IXPs Encourage Economic Growth?

Internet exchange points (IXPs) are the go-to solution for localities looking to bring fast, affordable, and resilient internet connectivity to their regions. By providing a robust location for networks to come together, connect, and exchange internet traffic, IXPs have cemented themselves as critical parts of the digital infrastructure ecosystem, especially in the context of bolstering regional internet accessibility and capability. IXPs help keep domestic Internet traffic local, reducing transit costs, lag time, and providing a better user experience. 

But what about IXPs’ role in local economies? It’s true that as well as improving services and connection quality, IXPs can also encourage regional economic growth. Here are three ways they’re doing that.

1. With local connection comes improved performance of digital applications, a ‘must’ for growth potential.

Nearly every company needs high-performance, secure interconnection to carry out business in our digital age. Regional IXPs deliver this performance, which in turn provides amazing, endless growth opportunities for the localities they’re based in. When data is forced to travel far to be exchanged at large digital hubs, latency suffers. However, when data can be exchanged at a local IXP, the speed of connectivity and latency rates massively improve, leading to better performing digital products and services. 

Resilience and stability is also improved under the presence of an IXP, which enables better performance overall for applications such as cloud computing, VoIP connections, video conferencing and online collaboration—all things required to run a modern business well.

Our digital future is being built upon applications which require extremely low latency connections; think IoT, smart devices, or AI/ML-driven platforms. When real-time response is required, connectivity between data centres where these workloads are processed and stored needs the shortest path to where the data is consumed. When a local IXP is available, companies can interconnect with each other at the lowest possible latency. 

In summary, regional IXPs can future-proof the growth potential of smaller cities and localities’ economic prospects by enabling solid broadband infrastructure which supports the way businesses work today and tomorrow. 

2. Better for everyone: developing digital economies can have a positive impact on surrounding localities.

Every sector needs to be focusing hard on digitalisation, whether it’s embarking upon their first digital transformation or constantly improving their existing framework. This makes the development of local digital infrastructure imperative to strengthening local economies and creating a better quality of life for citizens. Localities with a highly developed digital economy are more competitive and grow faster than their more analogue peers, and less well connected neighbouring regions can benefit from strong infrastructure also—suggesting a positive ‘domino effect’ can come from investment. 

By working collaboratively, regions can create something greater than what they can achieve alone. Regional IXPs can therefore support national rollout strategies, helping bring more and more of a country’s population online with high-performance connectivity, so everyone can participate in the digital economy. 

3. Connections to other businesses massively improves growth potential.

Research by the World Bank suggests more than 80% of global GDP is generated in cities, creating an excellent opportunity to encourage migration to regions and improve local economies by building out solid digital infrastructure. It’s the perfect time for more rural locations to capitalise on the desire for home working by providing strong broadband connections which enable easy remote working.  

Improving digital infrastructure has fantastic potential ROI from an increase in skilled workers to the area, but it is also very beneficial to existing local businesses who can accelerate their operations through direct connections to the cloud. Regional IXPs facilitate connection to large, international hubs and many major players such as AWS, Microsoft and Google. Shorter, direct pathways to clouds and digital resources increase security, performance and overall general quality of internet connectivity. 

Italy’s leading interconnection platform is ready for the future

With IXPs across Italy, (Milan metro area, Bologna and Palermo) totalling 10 points of presence (PoPs), MIX offers the perfect strategic gateway between central and southern Europe. The MIX interconnection platform offers customers an opportunity to exchange Internet traffic with enhanced network performance, increased data flow control, reducing latency and IP-Transit costs. For more information, you can reach out to our IXP experts here