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Brighton Digital Exchange: A New Model for Digital Infrastructure?

Last week, as part of Brighton Digital Festival 2015, we invited businesses to The FuseBox to learn about and discuss the Brighton Digital Exchange (BDX).  Here, Shaun Fensom, Secretary of the BDX, provides an overview of the project and details of how to get involved.

The Brighton Digital Exchange went live in July this year. Three months in I’m delighted with the results being reported by the seven founder members. My aim now is to make sure more digital businesses and service providers take advantage of the opportunities it offers.

The digital exchange is a new idea, based on three notions:

1. That service providers and carriers can gain mutual benefit if they agree on a place to land connectivity.

2. That many digital businesses want their own servers near where they are based (rather than miles away in London), with a choice of suppliers for Internet connectivity (see 1).

3. That a co-operative ownership model allows smaller businesses to capture more of the value chain by aggregating demand, and also guarantees neutrality through one-member-one-vote (see 2).

That’s what BDX is - a carrier-neutral co-location facility right at the heart of Brighton’s digital, creative and tech quarter, co-operatively owned by its member businesses. It’s the first one like it. Anywhere.

How businesses benefit from BDX depends on their needs. Many businesses, including smaller creative, digital and tech businesses, will be interested in the products and services that are available from the BDX members. Already those include:

• Internet and point to point connectivity, using fixed line or wireless, generally offering more bandwidth and better service for less money.

• Dedicated and virtual server hosting with service levels only available from smaller providers, aimed specifically at the Brighton digital and tech market.

• VOIP packages offering PBX functionality but with more flexibility at a fraction of the price.

In New England House, where BDX is based, some 90 business units have access to the most competitively priced fast Internet access you’ll find anywhere in the UK. BDX members are working to spread those benefits to other businesses in Brighton.
But for some digital and service provider businesses - often those looking to grow and move up the value chain, BDX offers carrier-neutral server and PoP co-location hitherto unavailable in Brighton.

By joining the BDX co-operative:

• Businesses with significant hosting requirements can have their own servers here in Brighton with full physical access. Competitive transit (Internet connectivity) is already available from two providers. By moving from VPS, cloud or shared hosting, businesses can make big savings and gain control.

• ISPs have a neutral landing place for leased line connections, with access to existing transit offers, or they can bring in their own. ISPs ready to take the step of getting their own AS number and BGP routing can join LINX and peer with other BDX members.

But perhaps what’s most exciting is that the current members tell me they have found significant new business opportunities simply through working together in a co-operative.

If you’d like to know more then please do contact me at

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