Vancouver IXP - VanTX - BCNet

Jonathan Stewart jonathan.stewart at
Tue Aug 20 20:42:23 UTC 2013

On Tue, Aug 20, 2013 at 12:05 AM, 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, ...
Canada is geographically enormous. Long-haul transit is therefore costly,
and controlled by few big players. Not good for local ISPs.

You named 2 IXPs, and only got one right. A year ago, there were two
active: TORIX in Toronto, and OTTIX in Ottawa.  Ottawa is too close to
Toronto to have an impact, so OTTIX has remained small.  Having only 2 open
IXPs, 400 km apart in a country 5000 km wide is not good enough.

Since then, QIX in Montreal has opened up from a research-only IXP, to a
neutral peering facility.  MBIX in Winnipeg has started, and YYCIX in
Calgary is up and running as well.  Vancouver is still lacking.

are these open, neutral, ixps, a la six etc?  or big players trying to
> save the internet from itself?
I can speak for MBIX in Winnipeg, I'm part of the group working to get it
fully operational.

We are open, neutral. Any AS can become a member, and we are run openly by
a board, elected by the members of the exchange.

We have route servers, and direct peering is permitted as well.  Costs are
yearly, per-member, and low: $1200/yr.  CIRA's donations have been pivotal
in kickstarting this exchange with low cash costs. A couple of local ISPs
have also donated to got this project started.

Currently, the aforementioned established big players are not at all
interested in our exchange, they don't talk to us.  Only exception is
Hurricane Electric, who recently joined, dropping wholesale bandwidth costs
in Winnipeg *dramatically*.

would some of the *local* providers in the areas who actually use the
> cira ixen care to report on the experience?
I don't count as an operator, but so far, the connected members are
learning much more about BGP and traffic flows, and interconnecting in ways
never before possible in Winnipeg.

BTW, in Winnipeg we still have the problem of cross-continent traffic paths
to send data across the street.  Worst case is something like this:
Winnipeg--Chicago--Toronto--Vancouver--Calgary--Winnipeg. That's a 15,000
km round trip.  MBIX can help with that.

Our website for the curious:


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