It all might have started from an old post office a quarter of a century ago, but over the years network operators from all over the world have joined the platform in Frankfurt, and started to interconnect. In our video interview with Ivo Ivanov, CEO of DE-CIX International and COO of DE-CIX Group AG, he reminisces about his early days at DE-CIX and how the largest interconnection ecosystem in the world developed.
Watch the video here or read the transcript below.
Ivo, what was your life like 25 years ago, back when DE-CIX was founded?
1995 was the year when I just finished my high school. It was the year of my high school degree, and then of the decision what to do after. And then I started my law studies. The first year was 1996. The first birth year of DE-CIX was my first year in the university. At that point of time, I was between the entertainment sector and my law studies. So you can see these are two worlds that do not necessarily match perfectly to each other. I never, never would have imagined that one day I would be co-responsible for the great history DE-CIX has created over the decades.
What was your own personal peak moment in the history of interconnection?
I had Russian language education at school, and this fact actually led to the result in 2006 that a colleague – whose name is Frank Orlowski – at DE-CIX asked me whether I spoke Russian, and I said yes. He asked me to travel with him to Moscow to talk to some Internet operators, to ask them to join DE-CIX in Frankfurt and do interconnection business in Frankfurt. I agreed, of course. I had never been in Russia, and I was excited to go to Moscow.
So in 2006, we went to Russia. And this was the beginning of the internationalization – or the international spirit – of Frankfurt. We started talking to Russian operators, and then later on to Eastern European operators; at the same time in parallel, inviting all network operators from Western Europe and beyond, from the United States, to join the platform in Frankfurt and to start interconnecting. So this was the time between 2006 and 2008 where we started creating in Frankfurt the gateway into Europe for both west and east.
Without you, what would interconnection be like today?
So without DE-CIX – that means, without the ecosystems of DE-CIX and the ecosystems of our customers, of all these thousands of operators around the globe who do create DE-CIX, they create the ecosystems – without them, the Internet would not be as good as we enjoy today. Why? eco
This year DE-CIX celebrates a quarter of a century of Internet history. We have created a dedicated website where, throughout the year, we will take a look back at 25 years of Internet and interconnection history and at what is happening today.