Ventures in the News

IXP planned for Wichita State University to represent a large digital leap for Kansas residents, businesses

February 6, 2024


The addition of an internet-exchange point represents a “significant leap forward for the region’s digital infrastructure,” according to a recent blog post by Ivo Ivanov, the CEO of DE-CIX International.

by Brad Randall

A recent $5 million grant and more than $2.6 million in matching funds from Connected Nation will help to build an internet-exchange point (IXP) at a prominent Kansas school.

The office of Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D) announced the grant late last year, which will be used to fund a “carrier neutral” IXP on the campus of Wichita State University. According to the governor’s office, the IXP will be owned by Connected Nation Internet Exchange Points, which is described as “a joint venture between Kentucky-based nonprofit Connected Nation and carrier hotel pioneer Hunter Newby.”

According to Ivo Ivanov, who discussed the planned IXP in a Feb. 5 blog post, the IXP will be built and operated by DE-CIX on behalf of Connected Nation Internet Exchange Points. He said the project “is poised to transform how local and regional networks, including cloud services and content networks like Amazon and Netflix, interact.”

Ivanov said the internet exchange will enhance network performance by facilitating direct data exchanges, which Ivanov wrote will lower the cost of connectivity and improve cloud-services access across the south-central portion of Kansas.

“The construction of the IXP and establishment of the IX promise to revolutionize Internet performance, affordability, and reliability for a wide range of users, from students to businesses across the state,” Ivanov wrote. “This advancement is expected to attract more companies to the region, offering them the competitive advantages of low latency and high bandwidth at reasonable costs.”

When funding for the IXP was announced, Rob Dickson, the chief information officer of Wichita Public Schools, said the planned IXP is more than just an infrastructure advancement.

“This state-of-the-art IXP represents a monumental leap towards enhancing the digital infrastructure of our state,” Dickson previously said. “It promises to revolutionize the way our schools — from urban to rural areas —access and utilize the internet.”

Construction of the IXP is expected to begin this year and will take approximately 18 months to complete, a Nov. 2023 release from Wichita State University stated.

The school’s 2023 announcement said the facility, which is using iM Data Centers of Fort Lauderdale, Florida as general contractor on the project, will be capable of expanding in the future and be hardened to withstand 200 mph winds.

The facility will also be outfitted with redundant electrical and mechanical systems “so that it can remain fully operational even during extended power outages,” the school’s announcement stated.

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