Israeli Internet eXchange (IIX)
The Israeli Internet eXchange is the central meeting point of the Internet Service Providers in Israel. Its purpose is to route all intra-Israel Internet traffic, among the operators, as efficiently as possible.
Up until June 1996, most the Israeli Internet Providers were connected to ILAN – the Israeli Academic Network, operated by Machba. These links had to be dismantled by order of the Ministry of Communications. This left a gap in intra-Israel communications – a gap that would have caused in-Israel traffic to be routed via the USA, had it been left unfilled.
The Israeli Internet Society (ISOC-IL) has taken upon itself to create an in-Israel exchange, that will provide the answer to this problem.
ISOC-IL, and hence the IIX operation, is a not-for-profit operation.
OK, but what is it, actually?
The IIX is a actually a layer-3 switching device (router), physically located at the data center of Med-1. Internet Service Providers who so wish (see the IIX Bylaws for eligibility information) can connect to this exchange point using various technologies, ranging from transmission lines (SDH) to LAN based connections (GE) (via a licensed carrier).
Once connected, the service providers can exchange Internet traffic among themselves. Such a setup (much like a telephone exchange) is more simple and managable than trying to connect each service provider to all the others (mesh).