Press release:

Vibe Communications has become New Zealand’s first small wholesale network provider to establish a point-of-presence right in the heart of Silicon Valley.

The company has installed its own equipment in San Jose and has secured dedicated bandwidth to the United States on the Southern Cross cable. This direct presence in Silicon Valley enables Vibe’s wholesale customers to connect directly to the world’s largest network and content providers, says CTO Davey Goode.

“San Jose is the Capital of Silicon Valley and with our own kit on the ground there we can now offer our ISP customers dedicated Layer 2 connectivity to Tier 1 network and content providers in the US,” he says.

“This means we can give ISPs control over the internet services they really want. They’re able to choose which of the top providers in the US to buy capacity from and are not constrained by the decisions of their current upstream providers.”

The move also enables Vibe’s customers to provide superior protection from distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks by placing their own equipment in the US.

“We can now filter and isolate attempted DDoS attacks in the US, before they can affect the networks of our ISP customers in New Zealand. This is something few other New Zealand ISPs can do,” says Goode.

Investing in its own infrastructure in the US represents a large investment for Vibe, says chief operations officer Barry Murphy.

“It is a big step for a smaller player like us, and shows we are punching above our weight,” he says.

“We are the only wholesale network provider of our size in New Zealand to have its own equipment in the US, as it’s generally something only the larger players can afford to do. This new network allows us to compete and join the handful of carriers doing it themselves.”

Based on its US-based infrastructure, Vibe this month launched an international peering exchange service, called United States Exchange (USE), which allows local ISPs to connect directly to over 180 peering participants including Facebook, LinkedIn, Pandora and UStream among others. The service allows Vibe to deal with latency and caching issues directly in the US and allows its ISP customers to prioritise traffic to selected services from the rest of their network.

Tauranga-based ISP Full Flavour, which covers the Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions, is one of the first wholesale customers for USE and it’s already helping the company stand out, says managing director Jesse Archer.

“USE connects us directly to high priority locations in the US where the big providers, such as Microsoft, Google and Amazon, who host a lot of the world’s content are located. With USE we can buy specific amounts of bandwidth to those locations,” he says.

“Having a dedicated network that peers in California is a differentiator for us, especially in our region, as other smaller providers don’t tend to buy dedicated capacity for these services.”

Traditionally smaller players like Full Flavour tend to buy an “all-or-nothing” service for international connectivity and struggle to prioritise bandwidth for specific traffic, says Archer.

“The issue is that a lot of international traffic is not high priority and once the pipe fills up, everything slows down. We want to make sure we have a lot of capacity available for high priority traffic,” he says.

USE gives Full Flavour’s business customers a direct link to cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), meeting increasing demand for cloud services, says Archer.

Residential customers meanwhile can enjoy fast access to video streaming and gaming services, with little or no buffering or latency issues.

The service also means Full Flavour can better compete with larger ISPs, who are able to solve bandwidth constraints by buying massive amounts of capacity, says Archer.

“They don’t necessarily let customers pick and choose which services get the highest priority, so this lets us compete against the bigger providers and in some cases even deliver a better service,” he says.

Full Flavour focusses predominantly on providing fibre services and aims to offer the best possible speeds, which Vibe’s service enables, says Archer.

The company is also a wholesale customer of Vibe’s Auckland Sydney Exchange (ASE) – a Layer 2 or 3 peering service between Sydney and Auckland launched in 2013.

“We have been on ASE since September last year and have been very happy with that, so asked Vibe if they could get us in California.”

Establishing its own presence in the US forms part of Vibe’s ambition aim to challenge the status quo of network communications in New Zealand, says Murphy.

“We want to be innovative and always find creative ways to solve our customers’ problems, he says. In June 2013, Vibe launched New Zealand’s first Amazon Web Services (AWS) Direct Connect service and was also the leading retail service provider to offer UFB fibre services in Masterton, Palmerston North and Taupo.

Vibe plans to extend its network further even this year, by establishing point-of-presence in Asia in the coming months.

Full Flavour is a customer of Vibe Communications and purchases both it's Sydney and California peering services.

Great being able to offer "UFB speeds" outside of the domestic network.

Pictures of Vibe's Californian setup here: