NEW YORK -- Pork bellies and Internet access are now being sold in the same way.
A London-based company, Band-X, launched two exchanges this week that connect large-scale Internet providers with mid-sized ISPs, the company announced Thursday at Internet World in New York.
The exchanges work in the same way as commodities trading. Suppliers list prices and buyers make bids, with Band-X collecting a commission for its work. Unlike traditional Internet access contracts, which last a year, Band-X exchange members can switch carriers each month if the price is right.
To help buyers, Band-X also lists ratings of each of the companies and the services they offer. The catch? Companies selling access are listed anonymously and individuals can't become a member, only mid-size companies and up, Band-X officials said.
The company does have plans for opening up its exchanges to individuals, but conceded it wouldn't be "for a while." A Web-based exchange went live in New York on Thursday.
Two days earlier, Band-X launched a Paris-based exchange as well. It has plans to launch exchanges in as many as 11 other cities in the next six months. -- Ben Charny, ZDNet News