Vancouver IXP - VanTX - BCNet

Joe Abley jabley at
Tue Aug 20 12:52:04 UTC 2013

Hi Randy,

On 2013-08-20, at 01:05, Randy Bush <randy at> wrote:

>> As you may know CIRA has been working with groups across Canada to
>> establish new IXPs.
> wow!  i thought there were a lot of ixps, torix, vantx, ...

The TorIX has been the most significant exchange point with growth and traffic for some years. I hear the QIX in Montréal (pre-CIRA) was active, but I know less about that one since I've never had occasion to connect and use it. Other exchange points have existed (or still exist) in Halifax, London, Edmonton and Ottawa but have struggled to attract interest despite enthusiastic and well-meaning activism on the part of individuals.

I always had the impression that the BCIX in Vancouver was mainly a cooperative transit purchasing arrangement between academic institutions, and that all commercial peering on the west coast of Canada really took place in Seattle. Again, I have no direct experience however.

What CIRA is doing is providing support in the areas where previous efforts have struggled, providing hardware, accounts payable, legal, help with incorporation and forming sensible bylaws and stimulating local discussion and interest. My perspective is that they have done a great job in Calgary and Montréal. It sounds like the approach in Vancouver (engage with existing efforts, see where CIRA can help) is following the same path.

> are these open, neutral, ixps, a la six etc?  or big players trying to
> save the internet from itself?

I think they are as open and neutral as the local ISP communities want, and that CIRA is not dictating terms but rather enabling locals to do what they think is best for themselves. Open, Neutral, à la SIX (et à la TorIX) is what people seem to want.

I think the work CIRA is doing here is sensible, pragmatic, sensitive and useful. A good use of my .CA domain registration fees. It'd be nice to hear more about their experiences in Phoenix, if there is a suitable slot available on the programme.


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