The London Internet Exchange (LINX) has launched its 2019 annual report and accounts ahead of the exchange’s first ever online only annual general meeting on Wednesday 6th May.
2019 was a momentous year for many reasons with LINX celebrating its 25th anniversary in November. The year also saw long serving CEO, John Souter, step down to be succeeded by Kurtis Lindqvist.
This change of leadership was a acknowledged in the Letters from the Board section of the report by 2019 LINX Chairman Simon Woodhead and newly appointed Chair, Pieter Knook, whose selection was ratified at LINX107 in November.
“John Souter so ably led LINX as CEO for 19 years. He exhibited a passion for mutuality and a commitment to the membership that inspired and runs through LINX. His successor Kurtis is enormously capable and experienced and I’m confident he’ll take LINX to new heights.”
Simon Woodhead, LINX Chairman (Jan-Dec 2019)
“Stepping into the role of Chair towards the end of the reporting year, I would like to thank Simon for a thorough handover and for his service as my predecessor on the Board. I was attracted to LINX by the very capable people and the interesting position the company holds as a member-led organisation, and I look forward to contributing to fulfilling LINX’s potential in the future.”
Pieter Knook, LINX Chairman
Evolution, Expansion and Network Collaboration
2019 was a landmark year where technical innovation, changes in governance and a focussed marketing strategy combined to enhance LINX’s position as a world leading Internet Exchange Point. In particular it was a great year for connected new ports and exchange growth in general across all of the LINX LANs. LINX ended 2019 ahead of target for connected ports on its London LON1 and LON2 networks and at LINX Manchester. Overall LINX saw the number of connected 100GE ports increase to a total of 203 across all its platforms by the end of the year.
In the public affairs arena Government activities were dominated by Brexit which ultimately led to an extension in plans for major content regulation. On the network side there was geographical expansion with a new regional exchange in Jeddah, in association with Saudi Telecoms Company, and the development of a richer set of products including a new IX-API facility in collaboration with fellow exchanges AMS-IX and DE-CIX.
Also in the report LINX Chief Finance Officer, Malcolm Holt, gave an overview of LINX’s financial position. Following the 1st January 2019 service price cuts LINX used available funds to budget for a sizeable deficit for the year. In the event the year-end results of a net £484k deficit were almost 40% better than expected. This supported LINX being able to offer yet more value to our members by implementing further service price cuts on 1st January 2020.
In conclusion Kurtis commented:
“As an Internet exchange operator, and as a voice on behalf of its members in public affairs, LINX has occupied a special place in the UK market and the global network operator community. Looking to the future, our task is to build on this and strive for more, taking pride in past achievements but also recognising that there are market challenges ahead.”
Kurtis Lindqvist, LINX Chief Executive Officer
The 2019 annual report is published at a time when the global COVID-19 crisis is at its height. It was felt that such was the scale of the pandemic, and the potential economic and society effects this event could not be ignored, despite falling outside of the reporting period of the document. As a result a section was been added to reflect LINX’s approach to the outbreak.
At the time of writing the full consequences are impossible to foresee, and new restraining actions are being developed on a day to day basis. Whilst the general effects on the economy and society are negative, we have assessed that, as far as can be known, the short-term financial impact of the virus on LINX’s business is likely to be minimal.
Annual General Meeting
Due to the current situation LINX recognised it would no longer be able to host the LINX109 member meeting and AGM in the usual conference setting. However, the AGM will still take place as a virtual meeting on Wednesday 6th May 2020 starting at 2pm.
Full details on the new format plus how to register and vote in the AGM can be found on the LINX109 event page.