An IX (Internet Exchange) allows networks to interconnect on an open-access ethernet fabric -- providing low-latency, high-bandwidth, cost-effectively, in a locale.
Networks can exchange traffic faster and better. ISPs, transit providers, DNS services, and content networks will congregate -- it is sensible to interconnect locally.
Traffic exchange is facilitated by BGP (Border Gateway Protocol). Networks must have an AS (Autonomous System) number to announce their routes to each other. A looking glass shows the routes carried.
Connecting at the locations is subject to agreements with the facilities, but participation is free. YYCIX was built with donations and is operated by volunteers. Please consider contributing hardware or money.