Simwood Enables Voice of London Internet Exchange

Wholesale network operator Simwood has been selected by the London Internet Exchange to provide voice services. LINX is one of the world’s largest Internet Exchange Points (IXP), providing a meeting point to over 600 ISPs including Simwood. Its London network currently handles around 5Tbps of peak traffic and around 85% of the global Internet is reachable over it. It is considered critical national infrastructure due to the amount of Internet traffic from around the country that is exchanged there.

Whilst the LINX network is used by its members to exchange Internet traffic, it is vital it is able to manage that network even in the event of outage, and that members can reach staff that operate it. In fact, in the event of Internet disruption, it is even more important that staff are contactable. As LINX is so critical to the Internet it cannot be dependent on the Internet.

Having previously deployed VoIP internally in and between its two offices, LINX wished to embrace the wider benefits of it whilst enhancing availability. After a thorough selection process Simwood was chosen to supply the solution.

The Simwood network operates an IP network spanning Edinburgh, Manchester, Slough and London and is built for high availability. Crucially, it also operates its own SS7 interconnects to BT and Virgin, each in multiple sites but does so in a different way to other operators to maximise availability. Its VoIP stack is distributed throughout the network and at each level is able to fail over between sites. It has no dependence on and competes directly with services from other operators such as BT’s IPExchange.

Simwood CEO Simon Woodhead commented, “We spend a lot of time trying to convey our unique selling points but they’re extremely technical and our differences can be superficially matched in marketing. It was a joy to receive an RFQ stipulating requirements that matched our USPs, for the exact reasons we built them, from such a technically competent organisation that could not be fobbed off. The process was very exhaustive right down to examination of fibre maps and failure scenarios because if LINX sneezes, the Internet catches a cold. We loved it!”

LINX CTO, Richard Petrie said, “Like any organisation we want the flexibility VoIP offers, but not at the expense of availability. We needed to improve on ISDN30 in flexibility, cost and, crucially, uptime. We reviewed a number of proposals and found Simwood’s approach stood out. Their leadership on VoIP fraud mitigation and excellent real-time API were a welcome bonus.”

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine