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Full Speed Ahead: Internet Traffic Growth Unaffected by Financial Crisis

Joe Qian's picture

Reading about the financial crisis and the effects that have rippled around the world, it’s always heartening to find something positive in the midst of piles of red ink and pessimistic expectations.

Although the majority of industries and economies around the world have suffered due to the downturn, Internet traffic growth accelerated at an increasing rate in 2009 compared to 2008 with no discernible slowdown due to the crisis. According to data released by Telegeography, every single region around the globe registered growth in internet traffic, or flow of data. South Asia has registered over a 100% increase, higher than the 79% posted worldwide, although it must be noted that South Asia had a lower baseline capacity.

The slowdown in economic growth originally stoked fears that it would lead to cutting back and canceling investments into infrastructure for information technology, which would have lead to less available access, more congestion, and slower services. Fortunately, this has not occurred and improvements on increasing capacity have continued around the globe including in South Asia.

India has recently announced that it will increase the capacity of its 6,700-kilometer TGN-Intra-Asia undersea fiber optic cable to further improve the access and speed of connections between India and the rest of the world. This will complement an already flourishing IT service industry, which accounted for around 40% of the GDP in 2006 and is a strong engine for economic growth and social mobility.

In fact, network operators have increased network capacity by 9.4 terabytes per second (Tbps) this year, more than the entire network capability in the world in 2007.The astounding increase in demand for bandwidth and global connections can be attributed to the technology taking on different dimensions such as mobile data and video services as well as the increase in the use and popularity of social networking.

It’s an optimistic sign when countries continue to invest in their future even through the economic downturn. I believe this will create more opportunities and reduce poverty as populations will have more opportunities to connect and interact with the rest of the world.

What do you think?