IU Network Peering Connection at Showers Plaza
In Showers Plaza, Indiana University has a telco room where other ISPs in Bloomington can connect to them. This is reduce the distance that data must travel through network connections such as the Internet in order to reach a destination on IU's network or an ISP's network. It is currently being transitioned out of service.
In the 1990s, independent Internet Service Providers]] started appearing in Bloomington and the rest of the world. Many people in Bloomington wanted to be able to connect to resources on Indiana University's network. Unfortunately, the way the routing structure was arranged, packets destined for IU from ISPs like Kiva Networking and Bluemarble (now Smithville) had to go up to Chicago and back down to Bloomington. This included several hops along the way. Two of the major setbacks of this arrangement being that the amount of bandwidth to transfer a file between the two networks used "Internet connection bandwidth" instead of just the line speed of an ethernet cable and the other being the amount of network latency introduced from the additional hops needed to make the connection.
Around 1999, network administrators from Kiva convinced network admins from IU to allow them to setup a peering connection between IU and Kiva in Showers Plaza. They also invited Bluemarble to join the peer so that connections made between any of the three networks would travel locally over the 100 megabit and eventually gigabit links instead of over T1s and T3s.
As of 2011, The Bloomington/IU Peering point is in the process of being shut down. Increased bandwidth and better routing in all the local ISPs has made the idea of a local peering point much less important. Additionally, Monroe County now owns the Showers Building facility and IU no longer has keys.