Thursday, June 4, 2009

How R&E networks can help small business

[Here is an excellent blog from the BCnet web site describing the benefits of transit exchanges for small businesses in British Columbia. BCnet and several other R&E networks such as KAREN in New Zealand operate transit and/or peering exchanges for the benefit of their research and education institutions. Not only do these facilities provide a valuable service to their members in terms of providing competitive access to multiple service providers locally, they also help small businesses and community networks to access a number of competitive commercial providers. BCnet has established a number of transit exchanges at several communities throughout British Columbia and operates them on the community’s behalf—BSA]

Transit Exchange helps Novus Entertainment Save on Internet Costs and Improve Performance
Novus Entertainment Inc., a Vancouver-based premier service provider for television, high speed Internet and digital phone, is claiming cost savings and improved performance by connecting to BCNET's Vancouver Transit Exchange.
Chris Burnes, Manager of ISP Operations with Novus Entertainment, is responsible for connecting Novus to the BCNET Transit Exchange. Burnes spoke to us about his experience, "We came into BCNET's Transit Exchange at Harbour Centre on a one month trial to test out the waters. During that first month, we immediately received customer feedback about the improved network performance. Particularly, we have a number of university students residents and they have found the network to be extremely fast when they are collaborating and sharing data with the universities in Vancouver.'' Novus Entertainment has been using the BCNET Transit Exchange for over two years.

Novus delivers advanced high speed Internet services to Metro Vancouver's high-rise residents. Their claim to fame is delivering the fastest residential service in Western Canada and having built their own state-of-the-art fibre optic network throughout downtown Vancouver. Their residential network boasts speeds of up to 50 Mbps without a modem.
Peering Delivers Cost Savings
Novus is directly peering with BCNET and over 40 different research and higher education organizations, as well as industry and government, at the Vancouver Transit Exchange. Burnes commented, "One of the biggest advantages to peering with BCNET and its members is that we are realizing large cost savings by reducing our data trafficking fees. We can siphon off a portion of our traffic through BCNET, rather than the traffic going to one of our upstream providers, which would incur a megabit per second fee. Through BCNET's Transit Exchange, we have the most direct access."
A Marketplace of Internet Services
In addition, the Exchange provides a marketplace to purchase network services from nine commercial Internet upstream providers. The advantage of having a "shopping mall" of service providers at one central location, according to Burnes, is the simplicity and low cost of switching providers. Burnes says, "If we want to get the most competitive transit fees, we can easily switch providers at the Vancouver Transit Exchange. It is as simple as getting a VLAN to a new provider."
Finally, Burnes has a larger vision for the future. He sees the growth potential of the Exchange and the opportunity to form new alliances with organizations that are connected to the Exchange, "Interconnecting opens up new possibilities for partnerships and collaborations with Vancouver organizations." Burnes is currently talking to a few Vancouver organizations that are peering at the Exchange about potential business ventures.