BNIX, the Belgian National Internet eXchange managed by Belnet

BNIX or Belgian National Internet eXchange is the Belgian internet exchange point (IXP) founded by Belnet, Belgium's national network for research and education.

Since 1995, thanks to Belnet, the BNIX platform that allows a better exchange of data between sixty interconnected members.

BNIX is a physical infrastructure that allows Internet Service Providers (ISPs or ISPs), content providers, hosts or companies to exchange Internet traffic between their autonomous system networks (AS), thanks to mutual agreements called "peering".

BNIX’s mission

A technological mission above all

Technological mission, innovative vision and economic vocation: the BNIX is a key player in the circulation and reliability of Belgian internet traffic. The BNIX’s core purpose, is above all to contribute to the sustainability and development of the Internet in Belgium. The BNIX helps optimise the speed and efficiency of internet traffic in our country. And it does so at a minimal cost to companies and organisations, which contribute to the BNIX internet exchange point. They do not need to pay for data transport on third-party networks.

Why an Internet eXchange?

BNIX, under the flag of innovation

The BNIX's mission also features innovation. And as such, its value proposal is based on technological performance and control.

The BNIX aims to:

  • optimise Internet exchanges between local participants;
  • improve the Internet traffic flow in the country by providing more routes; 
  • provide better Internet speeds and reduce response times;
  • improve superfast broadband and the bandwidth. In this respect, BNIX works with IPv6, the latest version of the IP protocol. Its infrastructure also supports specific applications, including multicast. 

Would you like to know more about what BNIX can bring your organisation?

Do you want to reduce the international bandwidth purchase price to route your traffic abroad? Do you want to access your cloud applications continuously? Do you want to increase the quantity of traffic on the domestic network at no additional cost? Are you looking for faultless superfast broadband traffic quality and availability?

A local economic driver

The technological advantages of the Belgian internet node also make it an economic asset: 

  • A local Internet exchange point stimulates the offering because it is based on exchange between participants — hosts, service providers and content providers. 
  • BNIX IXP infrastructure attracts major Belgian high-tech players (Proximus, Telenet, Voo, etc.) as well as foreign (Facebook, Microsoft, OVH, etc.)
  • The BNIX IXP point facilitates technological activities between participants and research and training bodies. 

Do you want to know who has already joined BNIX?

Who is BNIX aimed at?

Any internet service provider, telecoms operator, corporation or media company, content supplier or web host can become a BNIX client. Therefore, your organisation can too. What do a telecoms operator like Orange, an online media company such as VRT, a content provider like Netflix or a CDN called Akamai all have in common? They all face the same challenge: to optimise the costs and yield of their local Internet traffic routing. Do you share this challenge? You could take part in our Belgian Internet exchange node. Currently, the BNIX platform has nearly 60 participants, who share and exchange the Belgian Internet node.

Would you like to become a BNIX Participant?


Continuous improvement and increased performances

  • In order to further improve its services, BNIX has switched to a new ticketing system on 1 December 2018: the OTRS system has been replaced by ServiceNow.

  • The Belgian Internet Exchange BNIX processed 451 petabyte of data last year, which translates into 23,076 years of full-HD streaming on Netflix. Compared to 2017, that’s an increase of 14 percent. The increase in total volume was mainly caused by large upgrades carried out by a number of participants, such as internet service providers like Proximus, VOO and Belnet, hosting providers like OVH and content providers like Facebook.

Rate reduction and launch of 100G ports

BNIX has more than 60 Participants, to encourage them to increase their interconnection capacity, the Belgian Internet node is offering a significant rate reduction!

Furthermore, 100Gbit/s ports are now available.

The internet host OVH is the first BNIX Participant to use this new connection speed.

New BNIX platform

With now 56 Participants, to respond to the growth of Internet use in Belgium, BNIX successfully completed migration to a whole new platform in June 2016.

The main advantage of this new platform is the increase in capacity that it enables: each new switch can exchange 13.2 terabits per second (Tbps). For comparison, the 2010 platform had a maximum capacity of 3.5 Tbps. Furthermore, the number of 10 Gbit/s ports available is much higher, and 100 Gbit/s links are made possible. In addition, the new BNIX is even more reliable and scalable. There is also much better energy efficiency: although each new switch is four times more powerful than before, at full capacity, they only need practically the same wattage as the previous platform.

First BNIX satisfaction survey

Between 7 August and 20 September 2013, BNIX held its first satisfaction survey with the Participants connected.

It had 42 questions, and 17 different organisations took part.

Here are the main results:

  • BNIX platform stability = 9.53/10
  • Response time = 8.53/10
  • Technical competence = 8.88/10
  • 24/7 NOC = 8.59/10

New POP at LCL and first BNIX networking event

LCL in Diegem became BNIX’s third point of presence (PoP), and it then had 43 Participants.

New, high-capacity communications systems were set up: the data traffic speed was five times higher than before. 
For the BNIX’s 15th anniversary, the first BNIX Networking Event was organised at the Musical Instruments Museum, on 25 March 2010.

BNIX refreshed its image: new logo and new website.

Closure of Belnet POP

Belnet decided to close the BNIX PoP located in its own offices and entrust this responsibility to the specialist data centres Level3 and Interxion.

New PoPs

BNIX extended its physical infrastructure to two new points of presence (PoPs):

  • Level3 in Evere;
  • Interxion in Zaventem.

As the physical infrastructure is spread over different sites (redundancy), technical incidents remain very limited.

BNIX is a co-founder of the European Internet Exchange Association (Euro-IX), for collaboration and the exchange of information between European internet exchange points.

Once upon a time...

BNIX was founded by Belnet, the Belgian national research network. Belnet is a public body that provides superfast broadband Internet access as well as many other services to research centres, higher educational establishments and public services. Belnet was chosen because it is one of the pioneers of the Internet in Belgium, it is a neutral provider and it has the required expertise. Belnet became responsible for managing the BNIX and its first point of presence (PoP) in its own offices.

The platform, which was then called “X-Router” (the name BNIX was given in 1997), had 6 Participants in the year it was founded.

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