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Data traffic soars as world turns to internet for work & play

23 Mar 2020

The internet is changing right before our eyes, as video conferencing traffic and the overall amount of data traffic crisscrossing the world rises steadily while the world seeks to flatten the curve of the coronavirus pandemic.

DE-CIX, the operator of an internet exchange in Germany, has already seen a 10% jump in internet traffic in the space of a week, and that number will surely climb.

According to DE-CIX, there has been a significant jump in video conferencing traffic compared to the last few weeks are more people use software such as WebEx, Skype, and Microsoft Teams to keep in contact. Virtual private network (VPN) usage is also soaring.

More people are taking the time to explore gaming – DE-CIX says that online gaming internet traffic has increased 25%, and even social media traffic has experienced a massive increase.

DE-CIX says it is prepared for the increased traffic from both end users and from its own customers.

“Capacities in our own network are regularly expanded on a long-term basis. We always plan for about twelve months in advance. We continue expanding as soon as 63% of the existing capacities are reached. The remaining 37% free capacity is needed to create redundancy and to ensure that we always have enough free capacity for traffic growth,” comments DE-CIX CTO Thomas King.

He adds that customers are also extending capacity in their own networks.

“These expansions are carried out by the customers themselves, according to their own processes and procedures.”

Since the start of March, DE-CIX internet nodes have recorded a 20% increase in demand for additional capacity from customers such as internet and content providers.

“In some cases, the capacities have been more than doubled. Especially in international data hubs such as New York, Madrid, and Frankfurt, the demand for more capacities at the DE-CIX internet exchanges is high. Here, too, we are seeing new record levels of data traffic at peak times,” says DE-CIX International CEO Ivo Ivanov.

“In times when people have to practice social distancing and perhaps self-isolate, a direct connection to family, friends, and the company environment via the various private and business applications is essential. The operation of this application layer and the exchange of data must run smoothly. Here we see it as our maxim to guarantee our customers – and thus Internet users worldwide – a trouble-free, secure, and reliable internet.”

DE-CIX recently broke a new data throughput record of 9 terabits per second through its Frankfurt internet exchange.