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LINX To Webcast Member Meetings
By: MarkJ - 08 August, 2003 (9:20 AM)

The London Internet Exchange (LINX), which carries up to 96% of the UK's Internet traffic, has chosen to webcast the decision-making meetings of its members:


Anyone with an Internet connection will now be able to watch decisions being taken at the heart of the UK Internet. In an historic move to open up the inner workings of the Internet to its users, the London Internet Exchange (LINX) - which handles up to 96 per cent of the UK's Internet traffic - is to webcast decision-making meetings of its members.

LINX, the largest Internet exchange point in Europe, allows competing Internet service providers (ISPs) to exchange Internet traffic cost-effectively, bringing speed and efficiency benefits to their customers.

It is a mutual organisation owned by around 140 ISPs and content delivery service providers from the USA, mainland Europe and the Far East. The decisions which the members make at their quarterly meetings can have a major impact on the operation of the Internet in the UK and the rest of the world.

Now Internet users will be able to view the decision-making process. LINX will be webcasting both days of LINX 42 - its 42nd members' meeting - on 18 and 19 August 2003. Details and a link will be published on the LINX website at http://www.linx.net.

The decision to webcast meetings follows a successful experiment with webcasting LINX 41 in May. The meeting, held at the TUC Congress Centre in London, was webcast live to members around the world - and to anyone else who wanted to watch. More than 500 people logged on from locations as diverse as Norway, Austria, Romania, Germany, Finland, Russia and Canada as well as the UK and USA.

Authenticated LINX members were able not just to watch but also to participate, by submitting questions on-line to the speakers in real time and voting on resolutions put to the meeting.

LINX sales and marketing manager Vanessa Evans said: "Our total membership is 140 companies and we typically get perhaps 30 to 40 of these attending members' meetings. To get this level of response on-line is very encouraging. Webcasting has clearly met a need from members, particularly those based overseas, who cannot spare the time to come to London for a full day meeting but none the less wish to participate.

Opening the webcasts to anyone who wishes to log on is in the true spirit of LINX and the Internet as an open, transparent and co-operative organisation.

One of the issues to be discussed at LINX 42 will be an amendment to LINX's constitution to facilitate on-line voting.

Vanessa Evans said: "In order to meet legal requirements, the on-line voting system used at LINX 41 was cumbersome. We shall be putting forward proposals for the introduction of a highly secure system which will allow authenticated members to vote from remote locations in real time, just as though they were present in the room."

As well as discussing the legal changes necessary to permit this alteration to the voting procedure, members attending (or watching the webcast) of LINX 42 will be told of the technology to be deployed that will ensure everyone has an opportunity to vote and that all votes are counted.

Vanessa Evans added: "We will be putting in place multiple back-ups to ensure that equipment failure cannot jeopardise members' ability to cast a vote if they wish to do so. And we will also be putting systems in place to ensure that all the votes counted are genuinely cast by members."

The agenda for LINX 42 includes discussions of future technical development of the LINX exchange, issues surrounding Internet regulation and the battle against spam, and improving protection against distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.

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