New Internet exchange for SA: Non-profit NeutrINX

A non-profit Internet exchange, NeutrINX, switched on its first peering point on 1 September 2011 in Centurion

By - September 2, 2011

A new Internext exchange called NeutrINX launched on 1 September 2011 in the Ambronex data centre located in Centurion.

NeutrINX said that it operates as a neutral provider with no affiliations with Internet and data centre service providers. Its sole objective: “Facilitating the interconnection of data and voice networks by building and operating open access, carrier neutral Internet exchanges and associated infrastructure.”

What really sets this project apart is the fact that it says it will run as a non-profit organization.

NeutrINX announced that its first peering point to go live is hosted in the Ambronex data centre in Centurion, Gauteng.

Exchange customers pay a port fee and contract separately with the hosting facility for equipment co-location, NeutrINX said, but customers may also connect directly to the exchange without necessarily taking up hosting space.

The Centurion facility has multiple access options, NeutrINX said, including Telkom SA, Dark Fibre Africa, other metro-Ethernet operators, and self provisioned wireless to a tower facility on the roof.

“Further NeutrINX sites will go live in due course with the next geographic location under investigation being Sandton,” NeutrINX said.

Edwin Peer

Edwin Peer - Co-founder: NeutrINX

According to the organization, the plan is to provide a layer two metro-Ethernet backbone connecting all the peering points into a single distributed Internet exchange.

They added that they are open to discussions with any carrier neutral, open access data centre operators in South Africa that might like to host a NeutrINX presence.

“As a non-profit organisation, we are not interested in making money building Internet exchanges, but as the founders of NeutrINX we definitely have an interest in being part of the solution when it comes to reducing domestic bandwidth costs,” NeutrINX said.

A quick search of company and non-profit organisations databases didn’t yield any results for NeutrINX and founders Jaco Kroon and Edwin Peer confirmed that the necessary registration was yet to be completed.

However, they are in the process of getting the necessary non-profit legal entity registered with CIPC (the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission), Peer said.

As an introductory offer to seed the peering point, the company is providing 100Mbit ports at no charge during the first six months of their operation with reduced rates remaining in effect for the balance of the first year.

The prices listed on the NeutrINX website are shown in the table below.

Product 09/2011 -02/2012 03/2012 -08/2012 09/2012 -onward
Setup Monthly Setup Monthly Setup Monthly
Port Charges
100 Base-T Free * Free * R 1,500 R750.00 R 1,500 R 1,500
1000 Base-T R 2,500 R 2,500 R 2,500 R 3,500 R 2,500 R 4,500
1000 Base-SX R 3,500 R 2,500 R 3,500 R 3,500 R 3,500 R 4,500
1000 Base-LX R 5,000 R 2,500 R 5,000 R 3,500 R 5,000 R 4,500
Value Added Services
Private VLAN Free Free Free 150 Free 250
* applies to the first port only (one per customer), additional ports charged at normal price
** 10G ports available on request

NeutrINX reiterated that it will operate impartially, so ports at the exchange will be available without favour to anyone on an equitable first come first serve basis.

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