What is a Point of Presence?

A Point of Presence (POP) is an access point or location at which two or more networks share a connection. More technically, a POP in networking, is the local access point for an Internet service provider (ISP).

A network Point of Presence (POP) consists of the high-speed telecommunications equipment and infrastructure that enables internet users, cloud providers, service providers, businesses, etc. to connect to the Internet via their ISP. The POP might include call aggregators, modem banks, routers, and high-speed switches.

Points of Presence (POPs) are spread out all over the world and ensure that smaller networks, thousands of miles apart, can communicate effectively – POPs are the backbone of the internet. POPs improve the speed of communication and greatly decrease latency – a prerequisite for online software and service companies to be competitive. As an example, a cloud-storage service provider might move their server infrastructure to data centers shared with a POP at locations around the world to deliver stored data much more quickly to their customers in those countries, by directly connecting to a POP.

Typically, a POP is a location that houses an access customer’s switching system or facility node, in a self-owned and managed or shared data center. Architecturally, a Point of Presence (POP) has both unique IP addresses as well as a pool of assignable IP addresses for its permanent and dial-up clients. The actual POP for an ISP might be located within the telecommunications facility of a telco or a long-distance carrier (a data center owned by a telco or long-distance carrier) or housed in a public data center. The ISP rents or leases space in the facility to install the routers and access servers that provide Internet connectivity for clients and for the equipment that provides the ISP with a high-speed T1 or T3 connection to the Internet’s backbone.

Processing power, storage and networking infrastructure can be leased from large global providers that have their infrastructure (Infrastructure-as-a-Service, or IaaS) connected to access points at POPs set up all over the world. Alternatively, a company can lease space within a data center to house their own private infrastructure to directly connect to the POP, or lastly, a company can simply connect their internal Local Area Network to an ISP (by connecting to their nearest POP), to get connected to the internet.

The most rudimentary form of connecting to a POP, is a company connecting wirelessly or through a fibre network to the nearest POP of their Internet provider.

How do IOR services work with Points of Presence?

A third-party Importer of Record (IOR) can facilitate the movement of infrastructure that supports a POP on multiple levels.

Firstly, telecommunication companies or internet service providers may provide POPs for clients in multiple countries and territories, however, they may not have registered entities in all the countries where they need to establish POPs. This poses a challenge to telcos and ISPs with regards to expansion and servicing of multinational needs.

Secondly, online software and service companies as well as various other digital businesses who wish to provide the best service to their customers, located around the globe, need to support their service with low latency levels. This is achieved by sending/ shipping IT infrastructure (servers, routers and storage devices with duplications of their offering) to data centers either close to or at the Points of Presence located in their customers’ countries. This ensures that such services are delivered as quickly as possible, as they are stored in servers & data centers which are much closer to the customer.

However, moving IT equipment across the world comes with multiple risks & challenges. In each destination country, a local Importer of Record (IOR) must be designated when the equipment is imported. This IOR must be a locally registered entity with a local tax registration and import license. The IOR takes on the risk associated with customs compliance and also from a taxation perspective. Since most digital businesses will not have local entities set up in countries around the world, moving IT equipment to Points of Presence in foreign countries will be impossible without an Importer of Record.

TecEx elegantly solves both the above-mentioned problems through its unique global importing capabilities – we can act as the Importer of Record in 200+ countries and territories, giving any digital business, telco or ISP global reach at the click of a button. We provide an end-to-end solution for the deployment of high value technology components to Points of Presence all over the world. TecEx will seamlessly manage the entire shipping process on your behalf: co-ordinating freight, obtaining the required licenses and permits, filing the necessary documentation as well as paying over all duties and taxes.

Points of Presence vs. Edge Locations

Points of Presence can range in complexity, sometimes consisting of only a simple server stacked in someone else’s cabinet, to a full suite of hardware including multiple servers, routers, switches and/ or firewalls. These complex Points of Presence are Edge locations, containing full deployments of advanced infrastructure & robust networking equipment that can handle significant networking and connection responsibilities. Edge locations are also known as Edge sites, and they are critical for expanding digital reach while maintaining the lightning-fast delivery of digital services and data.

An edge server, which is a server that resides between two networks, is located at each POP. Edge servers are simple proxy caches that work similarly to a web browser cache. They do not generate content for the website, instead, they keep a copy of the content in the cache. The total number of edge servers located at each POP will vary for each online provider.

Building the infrastructure solution at an edge site, brings the same challenges regarding cross border deployment as mentioned above.

Why are Points of Presence important?

POPs keep the world connected and allow different networks to communicate more quickly. Points of Presence are also important to the infrastructure of data centers, as these POPs create Internet Exchange Points all over the world, which are crucial for delivering data between networks, directly onto your screen in record time. Increasing reliability of an always-on service offering, increases security and increases performance.

POP Network Services

TecEx has years of experience handling complicated deployments of advanced, high-value IT infrastructure. We can help you to import into almost any country using our comprehensive, hassle-free IOR service.