Telegeography Says Traffic is Still Growing

September 3rd, 2008 by · 2 Comments

In a new article today, Telegeography says the internet grew at a 53% clip over the last twelve months.  That's a solid rate, although it is down a bit from last year's 61%.   It certainly doesn't match up with the slow growth rates Cogent has been reporting lately, but nor does it match up with the much higher rates Global Crossing has been reporting.  It probably falls in line with what Level 3 has been saying about traffic.

But the difference between the various carrier traffic anecdotes highlights the folly in putting a single number on internet growth.  Telegeography does a good job of reminding us that there is substantial geographical variation in those growth rates.  The fastest growth is to and from Latin America at some 112%, service to which is one of Global Crossing's differentiating features these days.  Cogent on the other hand mainly sells transit between the major internet hubs in the USA, which Telegeography reports at 47% - still higher than what Cogent has been seeing, but Cogent's slowdown is just 6 months old and is at least partly related to pricing trends.

And even this granularity is still at the national level, putting a raw number on the growth of USA internet traffic is similarly problematic.  For instance, measuring traffic on the main longhaul routes between hubs completely misses much of the traffic that comes down off of CDN's near the eventual destination - the closer you get to the edge the more traffic there seems to be.  Of course, one has to draw the line somewhere and measure something and produce some numbers, else we wouldn't know anything at all about traffic growth.

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Categories: Internet Backbones · Internet Traffic

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2 Comments So Far


  • iSiS says:

    I would agree with the growth numbers, I think 50 – 60% is the right number.

    Regarding CCOI and GLBX, its simple: GLBX is the better network, with better customers and eyeballs behind it, and was pricing themselves cheaper than CCOI ( which is dangerously close to a joke of a network) for about a year. All the while, Schaeffer and the execs were stubborn about admitting that pricing was coming down and they still saw themselves as the price leader. So, as they continued to lose deals, or not grow as expected with certain customers, GLBX and other Tier2’s were picking up market share and the customers were getting a better network experience. The Telia de-peering incident didn’t help Cogent either as I know a couple of large companies where this was the final straw.

    The bottom line is, from an investment perspective, CCOI execs should have introduced their “$4” pricing about 9 – 12 months earlier. Now they’re in trouble.

  • Frank A. Coluccio says:

    This recent NY Times article (below) explains at least one of the factors behind the apparent increase on some international routes while growth rates on North American routes show ebbing and/or decline:

    Internet Traffic Begins to Bypass the U.S.
    By JOHN MARKOFF
    Published: August 29, 2008
    URL: http://tinyurl.com/5bcvob

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