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Hunter Newby and Connected Nation to build Internet exchange points across the US

Published on February 23, 2023

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Source: Data Center Dynamics

An Edge project which brings carrier-neutral exchanges to 14 states which nave none

Carrier hotel pioneer Hunter Newby has set up a joint venture to "democratize" connectivity, by building Internet hubs in more than 125 communities in America.

Newby Ventures has teamed with non-profit organization Connected Nation (CN) to build and operate Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) in communities that don't currently have spaces for carrier-neutral connectivity. The joint venture, announced at the Metro Connect 2023 event in South Florida, will improve local Internet access and provide more resilient network paths into and out of each region.

The list of locations is online (PDF) -lists 125 target communities in 43 states and 4 US territories, and includes 14 states which currently have no carrier-neutral connectivity point at all.

Hunter Newby told DCD in a podcast interview, that fundamentally, US broadband is held back by a lack of neutral connectivity space: "The problem with rural broadband in America isn't broadband," he said. "The problem isn't fiber or even a lack of neutral real estate. All of those networks have to have a place to physically go, where content, cloud, and gaming can reside."

Newby, who pioneered the concept of meet-me-rooms in carrier hotels when he was CSO of Telx, a service provider bought by Digital Realty for $1.9 billion in 2019. During Covid, he looked at the online peering database PeeringDB and noticed something: "If you make a map of the US with the numbers of Internet exchanges in each state, states that have a zero have a problem. Because every single thing that happens, every second of the day, needs to leave that state and go to another state to get to an internet exchange point to get access to the content and the cloud."


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