Internet users in Scotland are set to enjoy faster and more secure connections from December when a new dedicated Scottish internet exchange goes live, the Sunday Herald can reveal.

The new IX Scotland exchange, instigated by the not-for-profit industry collective London Internet Exchange (LINX), is to be located in a datacentre owned by Pulsant, the £45 million-turnover Reading-based company that acquired Scottish data processing firms Lumison and Scolocate in 2010 and 2012 respectively.

An internal document seen by this newspaper revealed that the exchange is intended to be in operation "by the end of October", with a formal switch-on ceremony by Scottish Government ministers planned for December.

While the UK has around a dozen internet exchanges, mainly based in London with some in the north of England, the Edinburgh installation will be Scotland's first internet exchange since an earlier attempt to establish one, named ScotIX, foundered soon after launch in 1999 due to lack of users.

Matt Lovell, chief technology officer for Pulsant, confirmed that the scheme - preparations for which were first revealed by the Sunday Herald in March - was shortly to go live.

He said: "We've been impressed by the success that the Manchester hub has been for the north-west of England and, coupled with the roll-out of broadband to the rural areas of Scotland, high-speed connectivity, this is a really important part of improving the experience and the performance users in Scotland get."

Lovell added: "We can't get away from geography [ie Scotland's large areas of empty and mountainous terrain] and the effect that has on data and latency [online delay], and this will bringing that cached content, the content that's most important to the users, closer to them.

"Pulsant's sponsorship of this and the partnership with LINX is really important to driving the ongoing development of IT services in Scotland.

"It will mean a richer, faster experience for users of online media, and also for social media. The whole of Scotland will notice the difference, and it will be particularly important to businesses which market online."

The launch document said the scheme was attracting interest from Scottish IT stakeholders, "including service providers and content delivery networks (potential members of the exchange) as well as from parties interested in the social, economic and political impact that it will bring to Scotland.

"LINX is currently accepting pre-orders from network operators for connections to the exchange, with some notable early adopters such as Pulsant, Fluency, IFB, Onyx Internet, Brightsolid, Xtraordinary Networks and M247."

Charlie Boisseau, managing director of Edinburgh-based telecoms company Fluency, said: "As a Scottish indigenous internet service provider, it has been frustrating that some businesses have suffered from lower-quality internet access than the rest of the country because of our distance from current internet exchanges in London and Europe.

"A Scottish internet exchange will have a transformational effect on the quality of connection businesses and consumers can experience."

Launching the campaign for a Scottish exchange back in March, Ben Hedges, LINX's head of business development, said: "A Scottish IXP would bring everything closer. There is immediate enhancement in speed which can be up to five times faster. It would end the phenomenon of 'tromboning', when data sent between two points in Scotland has to go down to London and back again.

"It will bring investment in Scotland and improve resilience in case something breaks, as now everything relies on London.

"There are also political reasons to do this, as even small African nations have IXPs. As a country of five million people, Scotland needs one, even if it doesn't become independent."

Founded in 1994 by a group of internet service providers, LINX is currently the third-largest neutral IXP in Europe in terms of average throughput.

As a not-for-profit organisation, internet service providers join LINX as members and sign a memorandum of understanding. Members collectively "own" the company and all members have a single vote at AGMs and EGMs in matters relating to finances, constitution, and what activities LINX may carry out.

LINX has approximately 400 members from around the UK, plus Europe, the US, Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East.

The predecessor of the new Scottish exchange, ScotIX, was one of a number of commercially run exchanges which failed, convincing many in the industry that commercial exchanges were not viable. Almost all of the exchanges that survived into the current day are mutual entities.

The main UK internet exchanges other than LINX are the London Network Access Point (LONAP), LINX's IX Manchester and IX Leeds. As well as the IX Scotland initiative, LINX is also advancing an equivalent exchange in the Midlands.