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Last Updated: Thursday, 30 September, 2004, 11:28 GMT 12:28 UK
Britain becomes top data swapper
Data cables being attached, Eyewire
The UK is home to the top net hub
Britain is now home to the internet's biggest data hub.

In total more than 55 gigabits per second of data are regularly passing through the London Internet Exchange where the UK's net firms swap traffic between each other's networks.

This huge volume of traffic puts the UK net hub ahead of similar exchanges in the US and Japan.

The peak daily volume of traffic flowing across the network run by Linx is more than 40 gigabits per second.

Flow control

The non-profit London Internet Exchange handles the "peering" systems that link all the networks of the UK's net firms to each other. About 150 net firms swap traffic via Linx hardware located in London's Docklands.

Linx arrived at the figure of 55gbps by adding all the data passed between the UK's net service firms across its core network to that travelling over private peering systems.

Private peering systems are data cables that directly connect two net firms. Typically Linx owns and manages the link on behalf of the two net providers involved.

Linx estimates that, at the busiest times, 40gbps second passes between UK net service firms across Linx and 15gbps across the private peer connections.

The data flowing across the Linx network includes e-mail messages, data from web browsing sessions as well as content, such as images and video, from organisations such as the BBC.

Linx said that more traffic than it handles may flow in and out of co-location firms, where big net firms site their hardware, but its flow of data is the biggest handled by a single organisation.

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