Almost two-thirds (64 per cent) of Internet Exchange Points are now using BIRD, an open source router solution maintained by the Czech CZ.NIC Association, taking first place from proprietary routers.
Such routers allow Internet exchange points (IXP) and their members to peer Internet traffic. Exchanging packets between members helps to avoid costly routes over, for example, international networks.
BIRD is used by the largest three of Europe’s Internet peering centre’s, DE-CIX in Frankfurt (Germany), LINX in London (UK) and AMS-IX in Amsterdam (the Netherlands). The software is also used by many Internet exchanges outside of Europe, including in South Africa, Nigeria and Japan.
Routing daemon BIRD was created at Karlovy University’s Faculty of Mathematics and Physics. Three IT students started the project as a term project. One of these students, Ondřej Filip, now heads CZ.NIC. In 2000 the project was made one of the core research and development projects at CZ.NIC.
In 2010, the software router was awarded the Conspicuous Contribution Award by LINX in London. “ BIRD has proved to have been of great benefit to LINX and other European IXPs”, LINX announced at the time.
CZ.NIC is a Czech association that manages the .CZ Internet Country Code top-level domain. Three of the association’s supervisory board members are government representatives.