The Internet Neutral Exchange (INEX), Ireland’s internet protocol (IP) exchange hub, has initiated a voice over IP (VoIP) peering trial as a precursor to launching a dedicated VoIP peering service for operators. By peering IP traffic from their voice sessions operators will be enable to reduce their costs.
The move follows a VoIP industry meeting hosted by INEX earlier this year, which was attended by existing VoIP service providers and also those with an intention to deliver the service in the near future. In total, approximately 20 companies were represented at the round-table discussion, which was also attended by representatives from the Department of Communications and the Commission for Communications Regulation.
In addition to the trial, a best practice document for VoIP operators in Ireland is also being prepared by attendees at the meeting, which will help to define the technologies, practices and processes necessary to ensure long-term success of VoIP services.
The exchange has also announced a new category of membership. To date, membership of INEX has been restricted to organisations that peer IP traffic through the exchange. The new category – associate membership – will cater for organisations that wish to participate in the INEX community and benefit from networking with a wider membership.
“In recent months, we have been approached by organisations who would like to join INEX but who do not have an immediate requirement to peer IP traffic at our exchange points. Associate membership opens the door of INEX to them,” said Barry Rhodes, CEO of INEX. “The number of members connected to the INEX switches has doubled in the past 12 months and it’s against this background of expansion that the existing membership has decided to welcome an extended IP community, thus enhancing the reach of the organisation.”
Applications for associate membership, which carries a nominal annual membership fee, are welcomed from all organisations with an involvement in IP networking and services, including wholesale bandwidth providers, co-location and hosting providers and IP technology providers. Associate members will be encouraged to attend and contribute to INEX member meetings and also become involved in emerging IP technology projects such as the ongoing VoIP programme at INEX.
“There are many new services being delivered over IP, increasing the importance of the community that INEX represents. Extending the INEX community, with the associate membership category, ensures that our work at the exchange is as representative of the greater IP industry as is possible,” said Rhodes.
By Brian Skelly