Frankfurt am Main, 25 March 2020. The operator of the world’s largest Internet Exchange DE-CIX in Frankfurt am Main is seeing a further growth in data traffic during the COVID-19 crisis, and increased Internet use in a range of segments. Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, the growth previously observed in video conferencing traffic (for example Skype, Teams, and Webex) has risen by 100% as a result of the widespread use of home office in the past week. The number of users of online and cloud gaming platforms has also doubled in the last week – with a peak last Thursday. The social media data traffic has also increased considerably in comparison to the time before the crisis. What’s more, several of the video streaming providers have doubled their capacity at DE-CIX in Frankfurt.
“In addition to this, we are observing that the average data traffic at the Internet Exchange has increased by around 10 percent. Internet users are now also online more frequently and for longer during the day, and we can see that clearly. Normally, the data traffic at Internet Exchanges moves in waves and mirrors the daily rhythm of Internet usage, beginning at 6:00 in the morning, and with its peak at around 9pm. Now, almost everyone is at home, so that these waves are flattening out and the data traffic is becoming more evenly distributed over the whole day – and the average is increasing,” explains Dr. Thomas King, analyzing the changes to user behavior since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis.
In parallel with the increased use of online/cloud gaming and social media platforms, the large world-spanning networks for the distribution of media content (Content Delivery Networks) have also experienced a growth in data traffic of 50%. This means in total a jump of several hundred Gigabits per second in data traffic.
With regard to DE-CIX’s physical capacity, King emphasizes: “The capacities in our own network are regularly expanded for the long term. We always plan around 12 months in advance. The capacities are further expanded as soon as 63% of the existing capacity has been reached. The remaining 37% of free capacity is needed on the one hand for redundancy, and on the other hand so that we always have sufficient free capacity for traffic growth. Even if all employees of every company in Europe were to exclusively work from home, and in parallel a major global sporting event were to be broadcast, DE-CIX can make the bandwidth available for seamless interconnection."