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Stellium’s latest UK internet exchange goes live as part of a €290,000 network expansion delivered by PlanNet21 UK and Agile Networks

Indigenous technology services provider, PlanNet21 UK and its Juniper networking integration subsidiary, Agile Networks today announced the completion of a network expansion project for Stellium Datacenters, the UK’s largest purpose-built data centre campus, located in Newcastle, UK.

The project involves an investment by Stellium of €290,000 in its core datacentre network and sees the establishment of the Newcastle Internet Exchange (NCL-IX), a neutral, not-for-profit exchange offering internet speeds of up to 100 Gigabit to ISPs, content providers, social media companies and financial services organisations.

The service expansion adds high-quality connectivity to Stellium’s local, national, and global fibre networks and complements its existing cloud, co-location and data centre services.

Stellium boasts the UK’s only cable landing station for the new North Sea Connect cable.  In bypassing London, Newcastle is effectively closer to New York than the capital is and serves as an effective aggregation point between the US, EMEA and the Nordics.

Commenting on the deal, Gerry Murray, chief communications officer with Stellium said:

“The project enables a key part of our business strategy to turn Stellium into a major critical national infrastructure provider and data hub for the UK.  We now have a 10 and 100 Gigabit capability in our core network for metro ethernet and ISP services and the upgrade of our upstream links to key network providers increases the availability of bandwidth to our clients.

“This has had a significant commercial benefit to us in the form of reduced transit and peering costs, which have fallen by almost 70 percent,” he said.

The project was supported by PlanNet21’s Edinburgh office and fulfilled by its network integration subsidiary, Agile Networks, a Juniper partner and leader in the deployment of secure, AI-driven networks, based in Dublin.

Stellium’s technology expansion is based on Juniper Networks’ MX universal routing platform, which offers ultra-high density and throughput in a space- and power-optimised package.  It supports a comprehensive suite of routing, switching, security, and service including support for automation and telemetry capabilities that serve as the foundation for the future Self-Driving Network™.

“With ambitious growth plans, Stellium has an eye to future network expansion,” explains Michael Kinsella, sector director, service provider with Agile Networks.

“Best-of-breed Juniper routing technology is based on an open platform, interoperable with other hardware vendors and is highly automatable.  The ability to configure and operate the platform remotely and in a high availability configuration has served Stellium well during the current pandemic and mitigates risk in relation to health and safety of staff,” he said.

Over the last 10 years, Agile Networks’ Service Provider practice has brought end-to-end technology solutions to telecoms, cable, satellite, internet and data centre providers. Thanks to a team of highly accredited engineers, the company offers a wide range of services including design, installation, commissioning and support of industry-leading security, collaboration, network infrastructure, data centre and cloud solutions.

The formal launch of the Newcastle Internet Exchange took place on February 11th via live webinar. The 75-minute event titled; ‘NCL-IX – Putting the North of England on the Digital Infrastructure Map’, discussed the launch of the UK’s latest Internet Exchange and how it positions Newcastle into the mainstream of national and regional network connectivity, making StelliumDC/NCL-IX the meeting place for data transfer from USA to Northern Europe.

The launch can be viewed here:

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