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Neutral Internet Exchange Established in Portland, Maine

The Northern New England Neutral Internet Exchange (NNENIX for short) was established in late 2016 by three seasoned industry professionals from Maine.  The Exchange is a non-profit organized for the purpose of enabling its members to exchange local Internet traffic at cost, thus reducing overall cost of access for ISPs and ultimately end users in the state.  Jeff Letourneau of the University of Maine System, James Troutman, an independent consultant, and Jeff McCarthy of Maine Fiber Company are the founders.  NNENIX will be based in Portland, Maine and expects to expand to other northern New England sites as the exchange grows.   Their website is www.NNENIX.net

A neutral Internet exchange is a network fabric and physical location where Internet network operators and large enterprises can ‘peer’ or pass Internet traffic between each other’s networks efficiently. NNENIX is not an Internet Service Provider (ISP).  It is a connectivity resource for ISPs, content providers, government, education, healthcare, and commercial enterprise networks. Members must operate an Autonomous System and use the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) routing protocol on your network.

How do neutral Internet exchanges like NNENIX benefit members and the local economy? 

One important reason is the elimination of the ‘boomerang effect’. When someone in Maine sends an e-mail to someone else in Maine, that e-mail is routed out of the state to a major Internet hub and then turns around and ‘boomerangs’ back into the state.  With a neutral exchange, Internet traffic thatoriginates in Maine and is destined for another location in Maine transits the exchange and stays within the state.  This saves cost for ISPs operating in Maine and improves the speed and reliability of Internet services for all ISPs. 

A second reason is that a neutral exchange will help provide the "critical mass" of Internet traffic needed to attract competitive Internet providers and content distribution networks to locate their resources right here in northern New England.   This means the content most commonly accessed by Maine residents (think Netflix) and businesses (think cloud services) will be accessed more quickly and reliably. 

As a not-for-profit, NNENIX will set rates based on actual cost, ensuring Members receive the maximum benefit for the lowest cost.  Highly successful exchanges have many participants and carry a significant amount of traffic, passing through savings to Members as they grow.