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LINX (London Internet Exchange)

Last Edit: 10/01/17

The LINX is one of the most important computer networking operators, located in the United Kingdom, that services the Internet. The primary service provided by the LINX is an Internet Exchange Point (IXP) that enables Internet Service Providers to freely exchange (transit) data across each others networks. Internet Exchange Points (IXP) help Internet Service Providers lower their data transit costs - otherwise they would have to pay more upstream data transit costs to tier 1 backbone network - and in turn can pass lower data transit costs to end-users.

The LINX was founded in 1994, and since that date - according to the Internet Society - has undergone four total replacements of it's hardware 1997-2017. While the primary exchange points of the LINX - as it's name would suggest - are in London (LON1 and LON2), it now operates exchanges at the following locations: Cardiff (IXCardiff), Edinburgh (IXScotland), Manchester (IXManchester), and North America (LINX NoVA). The location of the exchanges are currently:

ISPs can signup to become members of LINX - the annual membership fee currently starts at £1,200, but increases depending on it's port dependence - and members of the LINX mutually co-own the company and can vote on future LINX developments and strategy. It is also possible for members of the public to attend LINX meetings. The LINX website currently states that they have 740 members that connect to the exchange from over 70 different countries. The LINX is a not-for-profit organisation, profits generated by it's membership fees and fed back into hardware upgrades and expansion. The goal of the LINX is to continually improve network performance and to improve upon it's low latency. If you wish to be kept up-to-date with LINX news, you can freely download the HotLINX Magazine from the LINX website. In 2017, for example, the HotLINX Magazine had an article highlighting the cooperation of LINX and France-IX to increase worldwide Internet growth.

Telehouse Docklands, important UK Internet hub - Telehouse Docklands

The first location of the LINX was Telehouse Docklands; which is the primary Internet hub for the UK and some would say worldwide. Telehouse Docklands is operated by Telehouse Europe. LINX is not the only Internet Exchange Points (IXP) that operates out of Telehouse Docklands: the London Network Access Point (LONAP) and PacketExchange currently do and the London Internet Providers EXchange (LIPEX) formerly did. That said, LINX is the largest Internet Exchange Points (IXP) that operates in the UK and out of Telehouse Docklands; currently rated the 3rd largest worldwide (2016). LINX only expanded outside of London in 2012, when they opened the IXManchester exchange.

While LINX primarily operates as an Internet Exchange Point (IXP), it does provide services for DNS root nameservers, primarily for the k.root-servers.net. The manager of the k.root-servers.net is RIPE NCC. DNS root nameservers provide a vital service for the function of the Domain Name System (DNS) and in-turn for the namespace addressing system of the Internet. Therefore, LINX plays a vital role in the functioning of the Internet's Domain Name System (DNS).