Scientists make Amsterdam world's busiest Internet exchange

Amsterdam has the world's busiest Internet exchange, thanks to nuclear physicists and mathematicians who in the 1980s connected their network needs with the academic belief that knowledge needs to be free, a Reuters report said.


The Reuters report said a time when the neutrality of the Internet is at stake, and ISPs are moving to prioritize their premium traffic, the Amsterdam Internet Exchange is a reminder that the Internet was built on the principle of the unrestricted exchange of ideas and information.


The popularity of the AMS-IX. the official name of the exchange, is the result of a liberal foundation which has created a place where ISPs can do business any way they like.


''Anything goes unless it's forbidden', was our motto from the beginning. We added a few rules later on, but any unnecessary organizing is being prevented,' Rob Blokzijl from Nikhef, the National Institute for Nuclear Physics and High Energy Physics in the Netherlands, was quoted as saying.


It shares this spirit with the designers of the Internet who decided that all data packets were created equal, and with Tim Berners-Lee who developed the WWW at the Swiss particle physics lab CERN as a universal and neutral platform.


'The public will demand an open Internet,' Berners-Lee said in a recent interview with Reuters.

Indeed, the debate over 'net neutrality' is one of the biggest issues facing the Web on both sides of the Atlantic, pitting big cable and phone companies against Internet powerhouses like Google.


At issue is whether broadband providers should be allowed to create 'toll booths' that would charge Internet companies to move content along fast broadband lines, a move critics say would restrict the freedom of the Web.