Ireland’s Internet Exchange (INEX) has exceeded the 10Gbps barrier for the first time, reaching 12.127Gbps – experiencing the greatest growth in the exchange’s 14-year history.
Some 12Gbps per second of traffic is the equivalent of 300,000 emails per second, 180,000 simultaneous phone calls or 720 MP3 tracks per second being downloaded over the INEX network.
The traffic peak, which coincided with the announcement of the National Recovery Plan, is an indication of the increase in consumption of rich media content such as TV, video, music and video conferencing over the internet by users in Ireland, including the new wave of mobile internet users.
INEX, which has 60 members, is the point at which internet service providers (ISPs), content providers and other organisations with internet traffic meet to transfer data between their networks.
When an internet user downloads a video or MP3 track from the internet, this content has to move from the video or music owner’s network to the user’s ISP’s network. Typically, in Ireland, this exchange, which is called peering, will take place through INEX hubs.
“We would estimate that over 95pc of Irish internet users have internet traffic routed via INEX,” explained Eileen Gallagher, responsible for marketing and membership development at INEX.
Content is king
“It is transparent to many end users, but INEX is a key component in their service provider’s ability to deliver a fast and reliable internet experience, whether they are sending email, watching video or catch-up TV, playing online games or calling friends around the world. The closer content is to the end user, the better their experience and as we increase the number of networks bringing their traffic to INEX, it enhances the potential experience even more for all users.”
Gallagher said that stronger traffic growth than usual is expected at INEX in the coming months, with several existing members recently upgrading their connection to INEX, giving them the opportunity to push more traffic over the exchange infrastructure.
A number of other existing members are expected to follow suit by upgrading their connection in the coming weeks and with applications anticipated from a number of high-profile names in the internet, 2011 is expected to be another record year at INEX.