The Divide: Connected Nation's Brent Legg on the need to build more carrier-neutral IXPs

Brent Legg, executive vice president of government affairs at Connected Nation (CN), joins the podcast to discuss the organization's partnership with entrepreneur and investor Hunter Newby to build and operate 125 new carrier-neutral Internet exchange points (IXPs), and its application for an NTIA Middle Mile grant to fund five of those projects.

The $1 billion Middle Mile program, funded through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), received over $5 billion in grant requests when it opened for applications last year. NTIA is expected to make awards on a rolling basis in the coming weeks and months.

Legg shares more about the importance of IXPs in closing the digital divide, which regions and communities are well suited to both support and benefit from IXPs, other partnerships fueling these buildouts, barriers to building these facilities and much more.

Here are a few topics discussed in this episode:

  • Brief history of Connected Nation's work on network interconnection (2:00)
  • Where IXPs are needed in the US and why (4:09)
  • CN's Middle Mile grant application with NTIA and the submission process (7:57)
  • Why grants are essential to building out IXPs (12:11)
  • Barriers to building and getting support for IXPs (14:00)
  • Ideal partnerships to form in order to successfully build out IXPs (17:55)
  • What additional legislation is needed to support IXPs? (20:57)
  • What CN is doing to pursue these projects as it awaits news on grant funding (23:11)

For a lightly edited transcript of this podcast, click the caption button on the video player above.

Related stories and links:

Nicole Ferraro, editor, Light Reading, and host of "​​The Divide" on the Light Reading Podcast.

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