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What do the Germans know that we don’t?

The German Internet Exchange DE-CIX recently opened an exchange on Sicily. Apollon Internet exchange is located at Telecom Italy Sparkle’s “Sicily Hub” Data Center in Palermo. The new Mediterranean Internet Exchange is meant to improve the Internet experience in Africa and the Middle East.

Historically, Internet Exchanges thrived on the presence of content providers and enterprises in the close vicinity of the Exchange’s facilities. From a latency perspective closer is better. It is hard to see what big business hubs or cities justify the presence of an IX on Sicily. Also, the conceptual choice of leveraging Point-to-Point Transit versus Peer-to-Peer Exchange for content delivery is heading towards Transit as prices are falling rapidly. Internet delivery traffic volumes throughout the Middle East and Africa are growing fast and prices are dropping, both fueled by new submarine cable systems that connect the users on the African continent and in the Middle East with Europe. The existing content that is accessed by those users lies mainly in Europe and the U.S.

“We founded DE-CIX Palermo to develop a new hub for Middle Eastern and African networks to reach Europe,” explains Harald A. Summa, CEO of DE-CIX. “There is tremendous growth happening in these regions. By creating a new hub in Palermo, the Internet experience of the end users will be improved, while networks will benefit from cost savings and better connectivity.”

DE-CIX Palermo is connected to all cable landing stations in Sicily. DE-CIX expects it to become an interconnection point for the international and regional carriers that land their IP backbones in Palermo, as well for CDNs that will collocate equipment in the facility. Google and Limelight Networks are both connecting and preparing to peer on the new Palermo exchange, while additional networks are signing on to grow the community of interconnected and peering networks.

“DE-CIX Palermo will deliver local, regional and international players high-quality, secure and reliable access to the content and transit providers that enable the Internet to thrive,” says Alessandro Talotta, Chairman and CEO of TI Sparkle. “The presence of the most important global content players at Sicily Hub builds a rich ecosystem of multi-breed players, creating the best location for high-quality, cost-efficient public and private peering in the Mediterranean.”

We are following this development closely and with much interest.

Want to know how you could benefit from the new Internet Exchange? Please, contact us!

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