Canada’s Internet Infrastructure: Made-in-Canada Internet Exchange Points (IXPs)

Get on board with IXPs - Internet that’s faster, cheaper, more resilient.

Canada’s Internet Exchange Point (IXP) network is growing. Governments, universities, content providers, Internet service providers and businesses have the opportunity to interconnect at made-in-Canada hubs to experience faster, cheaper and more robust Internet.

Peer now: All it requires is the flick of a switch. Contact your local IXP.

CIRA has long been an advocate and financial supporter of Canada’s IXP network expansion. CIRA can help you get the information you need to connect to Canada’s IXPs and improve the integrity and reliability of Internet for you and your clients.

What is an Internet Exchange Point?

An IXP (Internet Exchange Point) is a hub where independent networks can interconnect directly to one another, providing high-bandwidth and low-latency access at a low cost than traditional transit.

IXPs – Canadian infrastructure for Canadian data

Many Canadian Internet service providers currently employ north-to-south transit pipes to transmit data, relying on hubs in the United States. It’s great that data can move across international borders unencumbered when it needs to, but when data is moving between two Canadian points, this can be costly and inefficient. With the Canadian IXP network, there is no reason data transmitted from Canadian entity to Canadian entity needs to leave the country. Connecting to Canadian IXPs gives you a broad bandwidth option to interconnect with other Canadians in a faster more robust way.

Peering at an IXP in your city or province helps to:

  • Reduce transit costs – local traffic exchanged at an IXP reduces average per-bit delivery costs by reducing the need for transit.

  • Improve user experience – direct peering reduces latency for faster performance.

  • Ensure business continuity – Canadian entities peering at IXPs can continue to safely operate Internet and email services in the event of cyberattacks originating overseas. By peering at Canadian IXPs, these attacks can effectively be stopped at the border.

Canadian IXPs improve reliable access to global content

By peering at Canadian IXPs, data-to-data from Canadian entities can be transferred up to 10 times faster. At the same time, ISPs and enterprises can use IXPs to get low latency and low-cost access to content from providers such as Akamai, Google/YouTube and Microsoft.

Peering at Canada’s IXPs is simple

Traffic is exchanged at an IXP over a shared Layer 2 switch and is facilitated with Border Gateway Protocol (BGP). Becoming a member of an IXP requires an Autonomous System Number and a network connection from a router to an IXP switchport. IXPs may charge a monthly or annual port fee to connect to the IXP.

Make the switch: Contact your local IXP

Peer with CIRA: CIRA peering requirements 

Map of Canada’s IXPs

Contact your local IXP to find out how to get connected.

Internet exchange points