Kansas IXP

The state of Kansas has awarded a $5 million grant to nonprofit Connected Nation to construct a carrier-neutral internet exchange point (IXP) adjacent to Wichita State University’s Innovation Campus. Construction will be done through Connected Nation IXP, a joint venture between Connected Nation and Newby Ventures.

Connected Nation says its mission is to provide “innovative solutions that expand access to, and the use of, broadband and related technologies for people everywhere.” Newby Ventures is owned by carrier hotel entrepreneur Hunter Newby.

A Connected Nation spokesperson told Telecompetitor that the Wichita IXP will be the first carrier-neutral IXP in Kansas.

When the CNIXP joint venture was announced about a year ago, the partners said they had set a goal of establishing carrier-neutral internet exchange points in 125 smaller markets that would not traditionally have been targeted as interconnection points.

University towns such as Wichita were viewed as excellent locations for establishing these IXPs. The partners expect the new IXPs to provide major benefits for the towns that get them.

The Wichita IXP is expected to attract new business to the community, thereby bringing economic growth to the local region and state.

In addition, Wichita State University (WSU) is already heavily focused on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and the IXP should help fuel further educational opportunities along those lines. For example, Cisco expects to expand its existing relationship with WSU involving the Cisco internet of things portfolio and skills training program.  

Another key benefit is that local broadband providers will be able to directly peer with one another and with cloud services and content networks such as Amazon, Netflix, Google and Microsoft.

As Connected Nation has noted, when a region lacks an IXP, local providers must pay to backhaul traffic to the nearest IXP, which may be hundreds of miles away, to exchange traffic with other networks. This makes access to cloud services and content (like streaming services) seem slow and less responsive, and local broadband providers typically must pay higher rates for wholesale internet access, or IP transit.

One network that will connect to the Wichita IXP is the middle-mile network planned for the state that was funded, in part, through a $42.5 million grant that the Kansas Departments of Commerce and Transportation were awarded in June. The grant came from the NTIA Middle Mile program, and at the time, NTIA noted that plans for the project included connecting multiple new IXPs throughout the state.

In the announcement yesterday about the grant win for Wichita, Newby noted that CNIXP will provide space and services for the university to establish a network interconnection presence in the facility at no cost for 40 years. Thos services will provide more than $2 million in value back to the university, Newby said.

Wichita State University will provide a 40-year ground lease for the facility that CNIXP will use as an in-kind contribution to the grant, subject to final approval by the Kansas Board of Regents. The CNIXP will be built to withstand 200 mph winds and will have redundant electrical and mechanical systems.

Join the Conversation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Don’t Miss Any of Our Content

What’s happening with broadband and why is it important? Find out by subscribing to Telecompetitor’s newsletter today.

You have Successfully Subscribed!