March 31, 2020
Internet traffic over AMS-IX, the world’s leading interconnection platform, broke through the 8 Terabits per second (Tbps) barrier on March 30 around 8.30 PM.
The new peak traffic is most likely a result of the various quarantine measures of national governments in their effort to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus. People are forced to stay at home and, as a result, make extra use of digital services. In February, the daily amount of traffic exchanged on the platform was between 48 to 50 Petabyte. However, after the 11th of March – the day that the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic – we can see a steep rise in the amount of internet traffic exchanged over the AMS-IX Amsterdam platform. Currently, the traffic volume accounts for 56 to 58 Petabyte on a daily basis, an increase of 17% compared to the previous month.
The last couple of weeks, a lot of networks have been upgrading their port capacity to handle the traffic growth. Over 875 networks are connected to the Amsterdam interconnection hub, 75% of them being of European origin. Another important factor is the timing. Generally, the data traffic at interconnection platforms like AMS-IX moves in waves and reflects the daily rhythm of Internet usage, beginning at 6 AM and reaching its peak at around 9 in the evening.
“We are aware of our critical role as vital infrastructure and have taken all necessary measures to facilitate Internet growth. Millions of people are quarantined and depend on their Internet services for work and to keep a line with the outside world.”
8 Terabits per second accounts for astronomical amounts of data traffic. It corresponds to the simultaneous transmission of up to 320.000 videos in 4k HD quality or a data volume of approximately 200 million A4 pages of text, which is roughly 175.000 times the complete works of William Shakespeare.