Internet traffic growth not slowed by recession

14 Sep 2009
Global Peak Utilization Rates by Route, 2005-2009
Global Peak Utilization Rates by Route, 2005-2009
Source: Global Internet Geography

Although a deep recession has pummeled 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 well over 100% in 2009. However, even more mature markets experienced rapid growth: peak traffic volumes on international links connected to the US and Canada increased 59% in 2009.

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. ‘While some operators have postponed network upgrades, investments in new capacity have continued, and aggregate peak utilisation remains well within historical ranges,’ said TeleGeography Research Director Alan Mauldin. For example, aggregate peak utilisation on Asian networks increased from 56% to 62% between 2008 and 2009. However, the aggregate peak utilisation 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 9.4Tbps of new capacity—exceeding the 8.7Tbps in existence just two years earlier.

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

To download the detailed executive summary of TeleGeography’s study, please visit:

For further information, please contact:

Alan Mauldin

+1 202 741 0048



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