Alaska Peering Exchange (AIX)

The NOAA N-Wave program is undertaking efforts to design, deploy and operate an Alaska Peering Exchange (AIX) as a voluntary participation local Exchange Point, situated initially in Anchorage, AK. The AIX will enable direct interconnections between various government, research, and education networks, including Internet service providers (ISPs) and private enterprise networks. This direct link, referred to as peering, allows for the efficient exchange of data traffic among these networks, keeping data traffic destined for the state of Alaska within the state. The operational availability for the AIX is slated for September 2024. 

From daily weather forecasts, severe storm warnings, and climate monitoring to fisheries management, coastal restoration and supporting marine commerce, NOAA’s products and services support economic vitality and affect more than one-third of America’s gross domestic product. NOAA’s dedicated scientists use cutting-edge research and high-tech instrumentation to provide citizens, planners, emergency managers and other decision makers with reliable information they need. NOAA annually receives nearly eight terabytes of data from its facilities in Alaska, which is then transmitted to Seattle. Much of this data is subsequently sent back to Alaska for use by entities, such as the University of Alaska and the State of Alaska, who rely on it for essential weather and climate insights. This process not only generates unnecessary costs but also adds extensive latency as the data travels from Alaska to Seattle and then returns to Alaska. In Alaska, where weather conditions can shift quickly with major effects on safety and property, extra delays can be catastrophic. To mitigate this issue, N-Wave is collaborating with both private sector and science, research and education partners to establish a carrier-neutral peering exchange, aimed at eliminating the inefficient data loop, ensuring timely and efficient dissemination of Alaska data directly to Alaska.

Since 2013, N-Wave has built new infrastructure to provide higher speed connectivity to NOAA sites in Alaska. In the past three years, N-Wave built an Alaska backbone connecting Seattle, Anchorage and Fairbanks to N-Wave in Seattle, establishing a ring to land NOAA sites, and other government agencies statewide. This backbone creates a high speed, shared cost infrastructure and leverages multiple wire centers throughout the state. The peering exchange is physically located at the ACS North Wire Center in Anchorage, Alaska, and was chosen for its proximity to the N-Wave Alaska core along with the future NOAA Trusted Internet Connection Access Provider service (TICAP).

The NOAA TICAP, with adjacent peering exchange, provides a highly optimized data ingress/egress point for N-Wave federal customers. N-Wave will deploy and manage the peering exchange leveraging industry standards and best practices used at existing exchanges. Please frequent this site for exchange updates on the deployment status,  availability and instructions for joining the exchange.