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Press Release -- August 3rd, 2023
Source: 123-net

123NET Launches Grand Rapids Internet Exchange in August 2023

Grand Rapids, MI., August 3, 2023 – 123NET announced that the company is launching an internet exchange in Grand Rapids to allow content developers, cloud providers, internet service providers and businesses to exchange internet traffic at no cost while improving performance and reliability for users.

The new Grand Rapids Exchange (GR-iX) will support West Michigan internet users with improved connectivity, diversity, lower costs and reduced latency across the region. 123NET previously launched the Detroit Internet Exchange (DET-iX) in 2014. In the time since, DET-iX has grown both its membership and traffic, due in part to its free connections and ports, and has attracted major content and internet providers like Apple, Microsoft and Google in addition to regional carriers, businesses and institutions.

123NET recently announced new fiber optic cable to be constructed under Lake Michigan linking 123NET’s Byron Center Data Center to Chicago’s connectivity hubs. The addition of the GR-iX to Byron Center’s Data Center will offer significant cost and efficiency benefits to internet user in West Michigan and across the state.

“A robust and accessible IXP infrastructure is essential for the growth and development of the state’s digital economy,” said Dan Irvin, CEO of 123NET. “The new Grand Rapids installment is already underway and is anticipated to be operational in July 2023 to serve as a connectivity hub, facilitating low-latency connections for local networks and localizing content while improving network scalability and stability. Once the new West Michigan to Chicago fiber construction is complete, these benefits will be even further accelerated.”

The GR-iX will initially be deployed at 123NET’s DC4 facility in Byron Center. Internet exchange points are located in strategic locations across the globe where content providers can use peer-to-peer connections to share data across networks for greater efficiency. 123NET’s DET-iX is a non-profit and has become the largest fee-free exchange in the world with an open-access model enabling ISPs to connect directly to one another.

“The GR-iX will follow on the Detroit model as a fee-free service, and we have plans to pursue similar non-profit designation,” Irvin said. “Being successful in the world today requires unfettered access to data. At 123NET, it’s our goal to help Michigan become the best connected on the planet. Implementing the GR-iX and investing in fiber infrastructure are important steps in realizing that goal and increasing the state’s internet independence.”

In June, 123NET and its partner Peninsula Fiber Network (PFN) jointly announced a new $87.5 million middle mile connectivity project that includes the new fiber to be constructed under Lake Michigan. When completed, the fiber will connect 123NET’s data center in Grand Rapids – where the GR-iX is located – directly to Chicago, one of the nation’s premier connectivity hubs. The route is the first carrier-neutral fiber to be built across the lake and will enable diverse, low latency connections.

A National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) grant will provide approximately 70% of the funding for the new fiber project that adds resiliency to Michigan’s network and will help connect unserved and underserved areas.

Networks that have an ASN (autonomous system number) and are interested in joining the GR-iX are encouraged to visit or contact us at 800.227.1957.


The Grand Rapids Internet Exchange (GR-iX) is a not-for-profit Regional Internet Exchange Point (IXP) with a switching fabric that extends throughout Michigan. Membership and ports are free. The collaboration of carriers, ISPs, content providers, and enterprise businesses connected to GR-iX enables the exchange of traffic freely, without the need to pay upstream service providers for the connection and traffic. For more information, please visit

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