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Montgomery Internet Exchange Milestone Fuels Potential for Advanced Research

Montgomery Internet Exchange structures new private sector governance as growing membership and enhanced capabilities unleash high tech economic opportunities in the River Region and beyond

Post Date:05/24/2018 3:26 PM

MONTGOMERY – Alabama State University today joined a booming list of technology leaders, broadband service providers and innovators connected to the Montgomery Internet Exchange (MGMix), amid its restructure into a private sector, nonprofit governance that unleashes its true technological and economic potential.

“ASU has joined the Montgomery Internet Exchange because of the primary mission at this university, which is to benefit our students, and to expand the ‘font’ of intellectual knowledge for them, and for our faculty, staff, and for our 150 year-old institution of higher learning,” ASU President Dr. Quinton T. Ross, Jr. said. “The world has evolved from the Earth's vast geography of our parent's day; to an ever shrinking ‘world village,’ primarily because of the Internet and all of the new technology and social media, which is driving industry and education, alike. This will allow ASU to be able to interact in "nano-seconds" in a way not before imaged with all of the outstanding research universities and institutions across the globe...while also lifting-up ASU's faculty and students alike, as we all embark into this digital data hub capable of handling 100 Gigabytes of information per second."

Membership in MGMix can mean blazing fast internet speeds, cutting-edge security and enhanced connectivity fostering the potential for advanced research capabilities. It can also lead to lower operations costs and superior bandwidth. For ASU, connecting to the Exchange solidifies President Dr. Quinton T. Ross, Jr.’s commitment to moving faculty and students light-years ahead thanks to joining Alabama’s only digital data hub capable of handling the transfer of 100 Gigabits of information per second.

Located in the Retirement Systems of Alabama’s Dexter Avenue Datacenter in downtown Montgomery, MGMix is an open exchange led by a visionary collaboration among the City of Montgomery, Montgomery County, the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce, research universities, Maxwell Gunter Air Force Base and the Cyber College of the Air Force. It came online in 2016 as the first internet exchange point in Alabama and one of only four in the Southeast. Montgomery’s internet exchange currently hosts four unique DNS root server instances – a critical component to the internet, more than the exchanges in Jacksonville (three) and Tampa (three) while closing in on Atlanta’s five.

“We cannot overstate its role in expanding industry in the River Region and across the state by putting Montgomery on the map – literally – of the internet’s backbone, while providing the infrastructure needed to attract new businesses, industries and opportunities that cultivate growth in our burgeoning tech sector,” Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange said. “Whether you’re streaming entertainment, collaborating with other businesses or uploading large amounts of information, you’re getting the best speeds and most secure network in the state thanks to the MGMix.”

In addition to ASU, veteran-owned, Montgomery-based wireless broadband company, WISE Broadband, signed an agreement to soon connect to MGMix. Packet Clearing House (PCH), which provides two of MGMix’s four ROOT DNS server instances and was one of its first members, increased its investment in Montgomery’s exchange with a recent upgrade to equipment co-located at the RSA Datacenter. The upgrades allow PCH to offer new services, including Quad9, which protects against malicious threats to end users’ computers and devices. Although Quad9 previously offered its security services from Atlanta, having a presence in Montgomery will reduce response times by as much as 90 percent.

More growth can be expected at MGMix as a new nonprofit formed today to manage the Exchange gives more leeway to recruit and retain members. It also signifies a new milestone in the River Region’s Smart City/Smart Base strategy, which encompasses everything from Open Data Montgomery and free wireless downtown to energy-efficient smart lighting and the use of IoT devices to streamline City and County services.

Learn more about MGMix members and capabilities at www.mgmix.net.

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