Interconnection traffic to hit 8,200Tbps as firms switch from public internet

8 Oct 2018

© Connect World/

IT leaders veer away from the public internet as a place to do business.

Private connectivity between businesses via interconnection is forecast to outpace the growth in the volume of internet traffic in the next three years.

Interconnection traffic is to grow to 8,200Tbps (terabits per second) by 2021, according to the latest Global Interconnection Index published by data centre player Equinix. This reflects a forecast annual growth rate of 48pc, which is double the expected growth rate of global internet traffic.

According to the report, interconnection is becoming the de facto method for companies to operate in today’s digital economy.

The growth in direct interconnection traffic between businesses rather than over the public internet is being driven by security and latency concerns amongst businesses and their IT leaders. The research shows that as more and more businesses embark on digital transformation journeys, IT professionals are becoming concerned about the use of the public internet – burdened by latency and security issues – to the point where they will avoid it to achieve their business goals.

Direct business-to-business data traffic is the new norm

Man standing in suit in data centre.

Maurice Mortell, managing director for Ireland and emerging markets at Equinix. Image: John T Ohle

Around 50pc of Irish IT leaders now believe that avoiding the public internet is essential for their business. A further one-third believe that interconnection is key to stopping the slowdown of the public internet as direct physical and virtual interconnections allow for more reliable, fast and secure performance. As a result, on average, Irish-based enterprises predict that their private data exchange with other businesses, customers and partners will increase by 48pc in the next three years.

Almost half (46pc) say latency issues are a major concern for them, and 91pc now view interconnection as a key facilitator of successful digital transformation. Meanwhile, improving cybersecurity – cited by 50pc – is the top technology-driven priority for Irish enterprises.

“Enterprises are moving en masse to a more interconnected way of carrying out business as they prepare for a digital-first world,” said Maurice Mortell, managing director for Ireland and emerging markets at Equinix. “They see Ireland as an excellent place to do this – 87pc of our respondents believe it is the best place in Europe to interconnect with partners and customers, supply chain, and cloud service providers.

“Home to the world’s top internet and cloud service providers, Ireland has the digital ecosystem that enterprises today need as they seek new ways to extract value from the reams of data they are producing. Businesses are exploiting that through interconnection and, in doing so, they are transforming themselves and our digital economy,” Mortell added.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years