DE-CIX, the operator of the world’s largest Internet Exchange (IX) in Frankfurt, recently released more information about the changes it’s seeing to internet usage behavior and traffic growth across its IXs as a result of COVID-19. The company has seen increased use across a range of segments, including video conferencing, online gaming and more. 

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the growth that DE-CIX previously observed in traffic from video conferencing platforms such as Skype, Teams and Webex has risen by 100 percent. This is due to the now widespread use of work from home policies and the adoption of virtual operations. At the same time, the number of users of online and cloud gaming platforms has also doubled in the last week. Social media data traffic has also increased considerably in comparison to the time before the crisis. 

“In addition to this, we are observing that the average data traffic at the [Frankfurt] 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,” comments Dr. Thomas King, CTO of DE-CIX. “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 these waves are flattening out and the data traffic is becoming more evenly distributed over the whole day – and the average is increasing.”

As the use of online and cloud gaming and social media continue on their upswing, large global Content Delivery Networks have seen a 50 percent growth in data traffic, equalling a jump of several hundred Gigabits per second. To manage rising demands, several video streaming providers have doubled their capacity at DE-CIX in Frankfurt. 

Dr. Thomas King continues, “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 percent of the existing capacity has been reached. The remaining 37 percent 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.” 

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