Internet traffic growth not slowed by recession

SEPTEMBER 14, 2009 -- According to new data from TeleGeography, international traffic growth accelerated to 79% in 2009, up from 61% in 2008.

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SEPTEMBER 14, 2009 -- Although a deep recession has affected industries around the world, international Internet traffic growth shows no sign of slowing. In fact, according to new data from TeleGeography, international traffic growth accelerated to 79% in 2009, up from 61% in 2008. Growth was fastest in emerging markets, such as Eastern Europe, South Asia, and the Middle East. Traffic from each of these regions grew more than 100% in 2009. However, even more mature markets experienced rapid growth: Peak traffic volumes on international links connected to the United States and Canada increased 59% in 2009.
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Many observers feared that the recession would cause carriers to cut back on infrastructure spending, resulting in growing network congestion. Thus far, that fear has proven to be unfounded, says TeleGeography. "While some operators have postponed network upgrades, investments in new capacity have continued, and aggregate peak utilization remains well within historical ranges," says TeleGeography research director Alan Mauldin. For example, aggregate peak utilization on Asian networks increased from 56% to 62% between 2008 and 2009. However, the aggregate peak utilization level on Asian internet links was lower in 2009 than in 2006, despite the fact that traffic volumes have quadrupled since 2006.

The need to upgrade Internet backbones in light of traffic growth is not a new development. Since 2007, the annual growth rate of international Internet capacity has exceeded 60%. In 2009, international Internet bandwidth increased 64%. In 2009, network operators added 9.4 Tbps of new capacity -- exceeding the 8.7 Tbps in existence just two years earlier.

TeleGeography's Global Internet Geography provides in-depth analysis of international and U.S. domestic internet backbone capacity, traffic and IP transit pricing.


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