Vancouver IXP - VanTX - BCNet

Hay, Marilyn marilyn.hay at
Fri Aug 23 20:13:22 UTC 2013

I'll offer some perspective from BCNET on this discussion.

BCNET has operated Exchange services in British Columbia for many years however the peering has primarily been a multilateral service and not advertised as what is considered a typical IX.  BCNET is a not-for-profit consortium for BC post-secondary and research institutions and a small membership fee with BCNET was required to join.  Our exchanges were called Transit Exchanges and participants have certainly benefited from the peering and have significantly lowered their Transit costs.   

On reviewing this about a year ago, BCNET decided that it was time to look at getting a more typical bi-lateral IXP co-ordinated in Vancouver.  In the global Internet scene, Vancouver is not a huge traffic generator but is a very important location in Canada for interconnecting.  At about the same time, other efforts were underway such as in Montreal to re-establish the QIX, Winnipeg and Calgary to startup, and CIRA raising the general awareness that there was a shortage of IXPs across Canada.

These are all great efforts and require the community ISP support to make them successful.  We are working towards this in Vancouver for an open exchange, shared layer 2 switch fabric, bi-lateral peerings, and community driven.  Some organization does need to operate a site and the suggestion we have on the table is for BCNET to be the operator of a BC Internet Exchange, BCIX.   BCNET has been a network-neutral player in advanced networks since 1988 and we promote fair and accessible access to everyone.  We have also discussed opportunities with Peer1 and their local PIX services relative to the BCIX and we will have to see where that leads.  

A Town Hall to discuss this with the community is scheduled for September 26 and all local ISPs and any other interested parties are welcome to attend.   The Town Hall will be the driver for what happens next.  The general announcements of the time and location are scheduled to come out the first week of September.  CIRA has been very helpful with us in scheduling and co-ordinating this effort - thanks Jacques.

Thanks all for this great discussion topic.  Take care,

Marilyn Hay
UBC, Manager Network Planning
BCNET, Manager Network Engineering

-----Original Message-----
From: Jacques Latour [mailto:jacques.latour at] 
Sent: Friday, August 23, 2013 10:31 AM
To: Bill Reid; nanog at
Subject: RE: Vancouver IXP - VanTX - BCNet

Note: CIRA's job is not to go in and put a switch and leave.  CIRA works with the community to get the IXP up and running.  We have criteria to participate,  the IXP must be a member based, vendor neutral non-profit organization with a viable trusted community to operate and sustain an IXP.  CIRA is acting as a catalyst, not a doer. The community is the doer.  

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