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Government Internet eXchange (GovIX)

GovIX constitutes a joint, complementary and distributed peering infrastructure for the Austrian authority sector

All over Austria, public institutions have an increasing need for a joint, efficient and reliable information and telecommunication infrastructure. As the communication between these organisations is based on the Internet Protocol (IP), an authority-specific internet exchange can form an efficient basis for this and serve the specific optimisation of this data traffic. GovIX stands for "Government Internet eXchange" and constitutes a joint, complementary and distributed peering infrastructure for the Austrian authority sector. The GovIX offers the possibility of pooling IT communication of public administration and forms the basis for future developments in this sector. It is used by its participants firstly to optimise IP traffic streams and also facilitates IP-based communication of the public administration in the event of impairments to their Internet connections.

The GovIX does not see itself as a commercial Internet provider. It offers participants the infrastructure to exchange authority information according to the fair use principle. Before putting particularly bandwidth-intensive applications (e.g. data mirroring, multimedia applications) into operation via the GovIX infrastructure, the participants and operators affected are to be informed. Using the GovIX outside of this range of tasks is not permitted.

Many of the organisations belonging to this sector have been participants in the Austrian science network ACOnet for many years. ACOnet provides its participants with a service-neutral, glass-fibre-based, Austria-wide data network infrastructure. ACOnet has been operated since 1992 as a joint, non-profit-oriented infrastructure by the Central IT Service of the University of Vienna in cooperation with other organisations.  In the summer of 2007, the GovIX pilot operation, initiated by the BLSG committee, was commenced. This was transferred to productive operation in the autumn of 2010. The service is operated jointly by ACOnet, the Federal Chancellery, GovCERT and the city of Vienna (MA14). An Austrian-wide peering VLAN at the ACOnet backbone and BGP route servers and a DNS infrastructure (GovDNS) are thus available to the public administration (in particular ministries and provincial governments).

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