Frankfurt am Main, 6 February 2020. A Frankfurt success model turns 25. The world's leading Internet Exchange operator DE-CIX celebrates a quarter of a century of Internet history “Made in Germany” this year. 1995 heralded the birth of DE-CIX (German Commercial Internet Exchange) in the old post office in the Gutleut quarter of Frankfurt. This was the moment when three Internet service providers – MAZ from Hamburg, EUnet from Dortmund, and XLink from Karlsruhe – connected their networks. The aim was to promote global digital interconnection and establish efficient and cost-neutral data exchange via Internet Exchanges. Today, DE-CIX – with over 20 locations in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and North America – is an important element of the global interconnection infrastructure, and DE-CIX Frankfurt is the largest Internet exchange in the world.
“Back in 1995, Frankfurt was already the telecommunications capital of Germany, and in the meantime it has developed into Europe’s largest Internet hub. In the mid-nineties, data streams between different providers had to cross the Atlantic twice – even if the sender and recipient were actually only a few kilometers apart. With the idea of the interconnection of networks, we were dead right. DE-CIX was in the right place at the right time, because high-speed information exchange was exactly what we could offer our customers. It heralded the birth of a world-wide success model,” DE-CIX CEO Harald A. Summa recalls the early days.
From Frankfurt to the world – the international expansion of the DE-CIX success model
In parallel to the expansion of DE-CIX in Frankfurt to further locations and the expansion of further Internet Exchanges in Germany, DE-CIX opened its first international Internet Exchange, UAE-IX in Dubai, in 2012. With that, the starting gun was fired for rapid expansion, which experienced another highlight in 2015 with the setting up of DE-CIX New York. “We brought our trailblazing model into the US market filled with motivation and passion. The fact that today we are already the largest neutral Internet Exchange in the New York metropolitan region has exceeded our expectations,” Ivo A. Ivanov, CEO DE-CIX International, reminisces. The international expansion continued in 2016 with DE-CIX Madrid, the fastest-growing IX in the world. With the opening of interconnection hubs in Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, and Delhi, the company enjoyed an exceptionally successful entry into the Indian market in 2018, followed in 2019 by entering South East Asia, with DE-CIX Malaysia. Today, DE-CIX operates more than 20 IXs in Europe, the Middle East, India, South East Asia, and North America, with close to 1900 connected networks from over 100 countries.