((L-R) Bend Cloud President Michael Phillips and Central Oregon Internet Exchange President Jacob Roe-Bauer | Photo courtesy of Bend Cloud)
Have you noticed that your internet seems slow lately? If you are working or gaming at home and feel frustrated over internet speed, you are not alone. With so many people moving into Central Oregon and an internet infrastructure that was installed in the 1990s, it’s not surprising that connectivity gets spotty here at times.
Bend Cloud, a Bend-based business formed by father-son team Michael and Ken Phillips in 2015, has announced its participation in the Central Oregon Internet Exchange, Inc., a nonprofit corporation that works to facilitate significantly more efficient internet access by keeping internet traffic local. “Keeping your internet traffic local with peer-to-peer connections is essential for many businesses that can’t afford to have even momentary Internet interruptions,” said Michael Phillips, president of Bend Cloud. “Direct peering networking is especially important for secure backups and timely disaster recovery.”
The newly formed Internet exchange is in collaboration with Cascade Divide Data Center, a locally owned and operated tier III data center that services the entire Central Oregon region. “Keeping Internet traffic localized means your data doesn’t have to go to Seattle before going across town,” explains Phillips. “The farther your data has to travel, the greater chance of a connection problem due to the inherent complexities of Internet networking. Keeping traffic local reduces bottlenecks in network traffic flows.”
An Internet exchange is the physical infrastructure through which Internet service providers (ISPs) and content delivery networks (CDNs) exchange Internet traffic among their networks. They voluntarily connect their networks together, a process known as “peering,” which creates a neutral point on the worldwide web that interconnects the various Internet operator networks. Participants may be connectivity providers, citizens, businesses, public administrations, ISPs, application providers or content providers. “Through the new exchange, local ISPs are joining together to share infrastructure resources (cross connects) in order to reduce latencies and increase reliability of internet connections,” says Phillips. “This is particularly important for video conferencing, data backups and data recovery as well as many other situations where internet reliability is crucial.”
Bend Cloud is headquartered at the Cascade Divide Data Center, which Phillips says has been instrumental in creating Central Oregon Internet Exchange. “We are pleased to have Bend Cloud participate in cloud peering for clients in Central Oregon,” says John Warta, CEO of Cascade Divide. “The ability to have direct point-to-point networking peering throughout Central Oregon and beyond will be a lifesaver to businesses that need to have reliable connections for their enterprise operations.”
“Central Oregon Internet Exchange is a nonprofit corporation for public benefit and will greatly improve the Internet experience in Central Oregon,” says Jacob Roe-Bauer, president of the exchange. “We already are seeing great interest from several internet service providers in Central Oregon that will aid in facilitating fast and reliable internet connections.”
“Nimble players are filling a niche that the legacy companies have ignored, because ‘sorta okay’ internet has been good enough in the previous decades,” explains Phillips. “At the same time, internet traffic has exploded exponentially, particularly in areas popular with remote working. It could take years for the behemoths to upgrade decades-old infrastructure that was installed in the 1990’s when the internet as we know it was being built.” He adds, “One of our longer-term goals is to eventually get all internet providers in Central Oregon to get on board and cooperate together. This internet exchange is really a big step forward for the internet infrastructure of Central Oregon, which should be a boon for local business.”