Physical connection between IP networks
The Internet is a worldwide network of networks. These different types of network are connected to one another via the Internet Protocol (IP). An Internet eXchange is a physical infrastructure where many organisations with their own IP network (also called Autonomous Systems) can connect with one another and exchange Internet traffic.
The European Internet Exchange Association (Euro-IX), to which BNIX is a member, has accepted the industry definition of an IXP as being: "A physical network infrastructure operated by a single entity with the purpose to facilitate the exchange of Internet traffic between Autonomous Systems. The number of Autonomous Systems connected should at least be theree and there must be a clear and open policiy for others to join."
The exchange of IP traffic on an Internet eXchange is usually known as peering. The conditions under which this occurs is defined by the participants themselves who strike peering agreements. It is often the case that participants do not charge for using one another's network capacity. On top of cost-efficiency, peering also leads to higher performance (fewer intermediate switches or fewer hops, higher capacity), operational reliability (more routes increase redundancy) and better routing monitoring.
Budget-friendly, direct interconnection
Direct connection ensures that the traffic between networks is faster. A large amount of the transit traffic via third parties becomes superfluous. BNIX participants need to make far less use of upstream providers who link networks together, thus reducing costs.