New data from TeleGeography’s Global Internet Geography research reveal that Europe is emerging as a global internet hub, even as international internet bandwidth and traffic growth continue to slow.
Growth in worldwide international Internet capacity declined from 63% in 2009 to 33% in 2013 — the slowest rate of increase recorded by TeleGeography in ten years. However, while the pace of growth is slowing, the amount of new capacity added each year is enormous. In 2013, internet backbone operators added 26Tbps of international internet bandwidth to their networks, which is more than the total amount of capacity in service globally in 2009.
International internet capacity connected to Europe increased by 18.5Tbps in 2013, growing most rapidly between Europe and Africa. Europe now accounts for 94% of international internet bandwidth connected to North Africa, up from 61% ten years ago, and 72% of bandwidth connected to sub-Saharan Africa, up from 39% a decade ago. Growth in European connectivity is equally sharp for the Middle East, which has seen its bandwidth connected to Europe increase from 51% to 85% in the past ten years.
Why Europe? The continent benefits from low IP transit prices, rich peering opportunities, geographic proximity, and a multitude of submarine cable landings, making it a very attractive region with which to connect and exchange traffic. These factors also make Europe an attractive upstream destination for service providers in South Asia. While less than 6% of South Asian capacity was connected to Europe in 2003, over 46% is connected to Europe today.
‘Europe is an attractive internet hub because it is home to many large carriers and major internet exchanges, and IP transit prices are among the lowest in the world,’ said TeleGeography analyst Paul Brodsky. ‘New cable builds in Africa and the Middle East have enabled international operators to access inexpensive IP transit directly in European cities instead of connecting much further to the US.’
TeleGeography’s Global Internet Geography is a comprehensive source of data and analysis about international internet capacity, traffic, service providers, ASN connectivity, and pricing. It provides profiles of 107 backbone operators, international Internet metrics for 75 countries, and detailed transit pricing data for 38 countries.
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