NIX.CZ Association celebrates an important anniversary: 20 years of internet data exchange in the Czech Republic
Prague, 30 August 2016 - NIX.CZ Association, one of the largest internet exchange nodes (IXP) in the world, celebrates its 20th anniversary today. This important internet organisation came to existence on 30 August 1996, by bringing together several companies: CESNET, CZECH ON LINE, Datac, GTS Czech Com, Internet CZ, PVT and IBM Czech Republic. Today, NIX.CZ has 68 members and connects 141 networks in the Czech Republic and 36 in Slovakia, both local and international. Nevertheless, the Association aims not just to interconnect internet networks, but also to function as a platform for exchanging information and experience.
“The local telecommunication market had been deregulated shortly before the creation of our Association. This led to the emergence of first companies offering internet connection (ISPs), who needed to create a system that would allow them to connect with each other and exchange data locally, here in the Czech Republic. This need then prompted the founding of the neutral interconnection node NIX.CZ,” says Martin Semrád, who has been the Director of NIX.CZ for the past six years. “The creation of the Czech neutral peering node brought down the costs of foreign connectivity for operators and, at the same time, improved the quality of the Czech internet by shortening network routes and responses.”
Setting up a neutral peering node instead of a commercial entity turned out to be the right way forward, as evidenced by the now twenty years of successful operation, during which the Association has continued to grow and develop, and has launched a number of successful projects. These include, among others, the network safety project FENIX or the NIX.SK peering node. Since 2013, the Association has also organised, together with VIX.at, the annual CEE Peering Day conference, which brings together experts in the fields of interconnection and data centres. Last year, our twenty years of experience led us to Montenegro, where the experts from the Czech peering node helped set up the first neutral peering node in this Mediterranean country. Most recently, the Central-African Rwanda has also expressed interest in our local know-how.
“We realise that we are still missing a number of major global networks, which we would like to bring to the Czech Republic and Slovakia in the future. We are also well aware that we can continue to grow and expand in this field, but much depends on individual internet operators and their willingness to interconnect and cooperate. The more entities will share our philosophy, the more able we will be to, for example, defend ourselves against the current threats in the field of network security,” Martin Semrád concluded.
The Czech peering node NIX.CZ helps develop the Internet in Montenegro
Prague / Podgorica, 12. July 2016 -This year, the staff of NIX.CZ, the Czech neutral peering node, have been working together with their colleagues from the University of Montenegro, which operates MIXP (Montenegro Internet Exchange Point), on the development and commercial launch of an independent peering node in this Mediterranean country. The aim of the initiative is to contribute to the development of the Internet in Montenegro, to improve the quality of local Internet connection and reduce prices.
As part of the Danube Peering project, supported by the European Commission's START fund, the Czech internet experts have been focusing primarily on creating the necessary technical infrastructure and strengthening its operational capacities.
"Thanks to the transformative cooperation with the Czech Republic, we have managed to build and launch the first independent Internet peering node in Montenegro, which currently brings together seven networks," said Božo Krstajić, the chairman of board of directors of MIXP.
The number may appear small compared to, for example, the Czech NIX.CZ node, but we should keep in mind that Montenegro's population, including its population of Internet users, is also much smaller. At the moment, approximately 380,000 inhabitants of Montenegro use the Internet.
"We are very happy to be able to pass on our experience, which we have gained by operating our neutral peering node for nearly twenty years now, to our colleagues in Montenegro. We are also delighted by their interest in our projects, especially the FENIX security project. This is an opportunity to be part of a collaboration that ultimately helps not only the expansion of the Internet but also an economic development,” said Martin Semrád, the Director of NIX.CZ.
Together with NIX.CZ Association, the development of the Internet in Montenegro is also supported by CZ.NIC, the Czech national domain administrator, via the BIRD routing daemon project, which MIXP uses for interconnecting individual networks on its route servers.
"According to a survey conducted by the EURO-IX association, the Czech BIRD software is currently used by two-thirds of all Internet nodes virtually all over the world. We are pleased that our colleagues from Montenegro have also made this choice, "said Ondřej Filip, the Director of CZ.NIC.
The next issue of NIX.CZ's newsletter has been published
The next issue of our quarterly newsletter shows how the broadcasts of the 2016 IIHF World Championship and the EURO 2016 football cup activated the charts of transmitted data in our exchange. Furthermore, we inform on the continuing cooperation with our colleagues from Montenegro, we look back on our performance at the Internet and Technology conference, and the icing on the cake is the introduction of our new colleague, who definitely puts a smile on our face.
Due to the upcoming Ice Hockey World Championship, O2 Czech Republic increases its capacity in NIX.CZ
This year’s sport events have been the determining factor behind the recent decision of O2 Czech Republic to double its capacity in the national peering node NIX.CZ. According to the company, one of Czech Republic’s leading internet service providers, the World Championship in ice-hockey, to take place in May, will bring rising demand for online streaming, which means an increase in the amount of data transferred.
“Given the upcoming sports events such as the ice-hockey championship and the subsequent EURO UEFA, it is highly likely that due to online streaming of mainly the matches played by the national team, there will be more demand for streaming and thus for increased data flows. We have therefore prepared a special offer for all our members and customers, making it possible to increase their connection capacity in our node at a very advantageous rate. Our aim is to improve the user experience of Czech sports fans, without it being limited by the capacity of our backbone transmission lines,” Martin Semrád, the Director of NIX.CZ, said.
The next issue of NIX.CZ's newsletter has been published
The first page of the new issue of our quarterly newsletter informs about the recent CEE Peering Days conference, which was organized for the fourth time. Next we focus on the first anniversary of NIX.SK and the new record in data transmission in NIX.CZ. Last but not least we inform about the developments in the FENIX project in the past year.
4th CEE Peering Days hosted by Budapest
For the fourth time already, the representatives of ISPs, IXPs and data centres from all over the world met on 30th-31st March in Budapest to share their experience with issues related to interconnection.
NIX.CZ Association arrived at the Budapest conference to present the recent activities of the Czech peering node, but also its NIX.SK and FENIX projects. Presentations by the Director of NIX.CZ Martin Semrád and other contributors are available on the conference website: www.peeringdays.eu.
This year’s CEE Peering Days were also supported by the European Commission, namely through the START programme, which aims to fund cooperation in the Danube region. The fourth annual Peering Days were a ended by nearly 200 experts, including a large number from the Danube region; in addition to the specialists from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria and of course Hungary, we also heard about the experience of colleagues from Bulgaria, Slovenia, Serbia or Montenegro.