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CEO retires on a high as 25 Years of the London Internet Exchange is celebrated

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The London Internet Exchange, known as LINX, celebrated its 25th anniversary in style in front of a record 300 members, partners and special guests at its quarterly member conference in London this November.

LINX was established in November 1994 using a donated piece of equipment no bigger than a digital TV set top box and without any legal contracts, with the goal of keeping traffic local and avoiding costly transatlantic fees.

John Souter
John Souter

The five founding members of LINX were PIPEX, BT Internet Services, Demon Internet Services, EUnet GB and UKERNA/JANET and on the 8th November that year the first traffic was passed from network to network at the Telehouse campus in the Docklands area of London.

The LINX107 member conference in London was held on 11th & 12th November 2019 marked this milestone in UK Internet history. Over 20 global Internet exchanges (IXPs) were in attendance to celebrate LINX’s anniversary, but also to pass on their good wishes to John Souter, LINX CEO for the past 19 years, who will be retiring at the end of the year.

Mr Souter took the stage during the LINX107 event to present on the history of the Internet from his perspective during his time at the helm of LINX. The very first member conference he attended was LINX33 in Paris in 2001 and was present at 74 of the 75 events that followed missing just one due to illness. Even then he was able to follow the proceedings via webcast!

John commented: “We have seen some remarkable changes in the way the telecoms industry has operated over the years but to see that our neutral not-for-profit model remaining the preferred approach for peering is extremely satisfying. Our ethos of working for the good of the Internet has never been stronger and to have so many other IXPs join us for our celebrations at LINX107 was remarkable. It clearly demonstrates what a strong and collaborative industry we work in and long may that continue.”

LINX remains the largest membership owned Internet exchange in the World with networks connecting over 800 members from 80 countries. In fact, on the 25th anniversary itself the 900th network ASN was connected to the exchange, IP Integration (IPI), another milestone reached.

Commenting on his appointment as LINX CEO Kurt-Erik Lindqvist said: “These are exciting times for LINX and I am extremely proud to be taking on this position at this time. John will be a hard act to follow but he leaves us with the exchange in extremely good shape. I’m really looking forward to leading LINX in the next stage of its development.”

Ends

About the London Internet Exchange (LINX)
Established in 1994, the London Internet Exchange (LINX) is one of the largest Internet exchanges in the world, connecting over 900 member ASNs from over 80 countries. LINX continues to expand their London presence with 16 locations across London along with regional exchanges in Wales, Manchester and Scotland. LINX also operates an Internet exchange in the Ashburn metro area in the US just outside Washington DC. New for 2019 a new IX for Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, JEDIX powered by LINX.