Massive growth in data traffic on Irish networks – INEX

23 Sep 2011

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Barry Rhodes, chief executive of INEX, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Pat Rabbitte and Andrew Maybin, chairman of INEX

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The volume of data passing through Ireland’s internet service provider peering network increased more than 16 times in the past five years.

Speaking at yesterday’s event in Dublin’s Mansion House to mark the 15th anniversary of the INEX (Internet Neutral Exchange Association), chief executive Barry Rhodes said that in the past five years membership has doubled and the exchange now has three points of presence compared to two then.

INEX’s membership is drawn from ISPs, telcos, carriers, data centres and content providers. Rhodes said the growth of social media and mobile computing, in particular, would have a significant effect on members’ ability to meet their customers’ needs.

“Worldwide, the volume of mobile data is doubling every four months. If this should continue for the next three years, and there is no reason to suspect that it will not, there will be 256 times more mobile data over our connections then than there is today," Rhodes said. He urged organisations sending data traffic to ensure they have the capacity that can cope with this growth.

The INEX chief also raised concerns about the connectivity prices within Ireland. “Knowing that the internet is a critical driver to future economic growth and that a national spatial strategy is important to our Government, why is it that the cost of backhauling IP traffic to and from the regions to Dublin is more than three times the cost of the same connection between Dublin and London or Dublin and Amsterdam?” Rhodes asked.

Delivering more positive news, Rhodes said next year he expects to be in a position to recommend a follow-up to what he called the “very effective strategy” of waiving all port charges for members requiring the minimum capacity connection by reducing the charge for a 100Mb port connection to the exchange.

“This is particularly important to our goal of making it easier for regional ISPs to join INEX and enjoy the advantages of peering for the benefit of their users,” said Rhodes. 

Earlier this year, INEX helped to set up an initiative so several ISPs from the Munster area, including some smaller providers, could avail of peering with the exchange through a form of shared membership.