After several years of planning, the Detroit Internet Exchange (DET-iX) in Southfield has been granted tax-exempt status, establishing itself as a long-term, standalone entity and furthering its commitment to improve Michigan internet connectivity.
Founded in 2014, the DET-iX has grown to become the largest fee-free exchange in the world and the overall ninth most trafficked exchange in the United States. Its members include many of the world’s major content providers, including Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and many regional carriers, educational networks, and businesses.
“By establishing the DET-iX as a non-profit, free exchange, Michigan’s high-tech sector has access to the network connectivity to compete and prosper in an increasingly connected world,” says Ryan Duda, founder of the DET-iX and chief technology officer at 123Net, an internet service provider focused on equipping businesses with data center, voice, fiber, fixed wireless, and other network service.
“Routing internet traffic through the exchange reduces transit costs, improves speed and creates a direct path between member networks.”
Internet exchanges create performance increases and cost decreases by allowing members to pass traffic directly between one another, as opposed to purchasing it through a third-party provider, which keeps traffic local and on preferred pathways.
While other global exchanges are managed by a for-profit entity and charge to connect, Duda originally envisioned an internet exchange for Detroit as a standalone, non-profit and fee free entity.
The DET-iX-member traffic has more than doubled year over year since its founding. In May 2021, traffic peaked at 325 Gbps, or roughly the equivalent of streaming 100,000 movies at once. DayStarr Communications, a telecom company that serves Shiawassee and Clinton counties, is one member of the exchange.
“The DET-iX has allowed us to improve the quality of experience for our customers while at the same time rehoming 50 percent of our traffic from paid transit providers,” says Collin Rose, DayStarr’s president.
Any organization with its own autonomous system number (ASN) and IP addresses can connect to the DET-iX for free.
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