This year marks 25 years of WA-IX. As many of you know, our first Point of Presence (PoP) was located in the basement of QV1 and is still part of our network today. The action of creating the first PoP was described by Michael Malone – president of WAIA in 1997 – as “a laudable display of cooperation between competitors.”
First conceived in 1996 at a time when most people were using the wholesalers of the day: AARNet, connect.com.au or Access1, the traffic was very costly both internationally and locally ($1.46 per MB sent and received). Those who were part of WAIA at the time generally agreed that an IX was a great idea and that a neutral peering point made a lot of sense.
The first PoP comprised donated hardware from iiNet with engineers from iiNet, Wantree and Omen jointly managing it on a volunteer basis. Since then, our network has expanded significantly, and we now have more than 30 PoPs nationally.
A snippet from the original press release, “As of about half an hour ago, iiNet and Omen are the first two networks peering at the WA Internet Exchange. […] Wantree and Paradox digital expect to be connected to the peering point within a week, and PARNet (the four public universities and CSIRO) should be on by mid-July” – Michael Malone, 1997. Read the full version of the 1997 press release.