Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Friday, July 1, 2005

An Internet Exchange As A Hub To Foster Regional Economic Growth: Top-IX Shows The Way

Top-IX is a no-profit internet exchange promoting the effective use and deployment of broadband networks and applications.

Primarily financed by the Piedmont region in Italy and private companies through the membership and service fees, Top-IX has the institutional mission of promoting the active use of its Internet Exchange to entrepreneurs, small and medium sized companies, public sector and large corporations as well. Its main goal behind the one of bridging the ease with which demand can meet opportunity when it comes to broadband and new cutting-eddge Internet services.

What an Internet exchange like Top-IX can offer is a true alternative model of interconnecting infrastructure that allows the growth of internet services and the available bandwidth while addressing specific data distribution and connectivity needs peculiar to each reality.

Simone Arena - Technical Marketing Engineer for Top-IX explains how "autonomous systems" interconnect through an Internet Exchange

I have just met with Simone Arena, and Massimo Zaglio, Design Engineer, who in a devastatingly hot Milan afternoon have introduced to their vision and future plans.

Well, I must say indeed that this is not the typical kind of Internet exchange, and to my modest knowledge in the field I don't recount any other similar example that I have been exposed to before.



What Top-IX does in fact, is to run a truly cooperative and collaborative approach with any possible public or private partner to promote the effective use of Internet connectivity beyond the major city conglomerates and into the smaller towns and villages.

As a matter of fact, Top-IX, is not even closed to become a fulcrum point for other effective and innovative uses of the Internet that originate out of their region or even out of Italy. If such initiatives can be enabled and supported by Top-IX in ways that adds value to its leadership as a connectivity evangelist, then Top-IX can probably be a great listener to talk to.

What also stroke me is that this is a unique, rare breed of company, working beyond the traditional commercial framework and pushing the envelope by creating new synergies and visions. Top-IX is a no-profit consortium made up by a group of very talented individuals, coming from all sorts of professional disciplines and backgrounds, young in spirit and focused on enabling new opportunities without having to keep a too vigilant eye on immediate ROI issues.

Their ROI, as declared by Simone Arena, is in allowing companies to discover and create new value by leveraging Top-IX state of the art infrastructure and hub-nature.

The more companies can create new value out of using broadband, point-to-point interconnectivity with other branches and partners, using advanced new media tools like VoIP, web conferencing and streaming video, the more successful Top-IX is in accomplishing its mission.

What I am extremely glad to see is that such an organization exists, and that it can possibly become a model for others to follow.

These are initiatives built basically with our tax-payer money, and I couldn't be happier to see someone devoting its resources, know-how and skills to help others take greater advantages of what the Internet and the new media technologies available today can offer.

I have also discussed the opportunity for small collaboration project with them, involving the possibility of creating a semi-pro online video repository / clearinghouse around which multiple communities could aggregate.

Connected to TheWeblogProject, this would practically allow for the enabling of public video catalog of the open-source movie project that I am pursuing, as well as providing the needed infrastructure to host, archive and re-distribute the high-quality original footage (under CC license) that other independent producers will want to download to create their own version of the movie.

If you are in Italy keep a good eye, every once in a while to the progress and announcements that this group will make, I think you will see some interesting stuff.

If you are abroad, please report back of similar initiatives and their successes and failures in playing such innovative technology role in the economic scenario of a regional community or small state.


Top-IX is in English and Italian and is openly accessible at: (Italian)

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posted by Robin Good on Friday, July 1 2005, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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