Internet exchange operator DE-CIX has found that Internet usage is growing and changing in nature due to self-isolation amid the Covid-19 outbreak.

The findings were to be expected, with video conferencing traffic jumping significantly, along with gaming and social media.

Working from home beats being sick in the office


DE-CIX's Frankfurt facility, the world's largest Internet Exchange, saw average data traffic increase by 10 percent since last Wednesday - when some had already started staying at home.

In comparison to previous weeks, video conferencing traffic (Skype, Teams, WebEx, etc.) rose some 50 percent. Since Friday last week online and cloud gaming grew 25 percent, and there was also 'a significant increase' in traffic from the use of social media platforms. Similar results are expected for other DE-CIX locations, and presumably other Internet exchanges.

“Capacities in our own network are regularly expanded on a long-term basis," Dr. Thomas King, CTO at DE-CIX, said.

"We always plan for about twelve months in advance. We continue expanding as soon as 63 percent of the existing capacities are reached. The remaining 37 percent free capacity is needed to create redundancy and to ensure that we always have enough free capacity for traffic growth. In addition to our network for the Internet Exchange, customers also need to expand capacity in their own network. These expansions are carried out by the customers themselves, according to their own processes and procedures."

Those customers are increasing their data capacities like never before, DE-CIX said, with a 20 percent increase in the demand for additional capacities for DE-CIX Internet nodes worldwide since March.

“We are seeing the increase in capacities, especially with the major global Internet and content providers," Ivo Ivanov, CEO DE-CIX International, said. "In some cases, the capacities have been more than doubled. Especially in international data hubs such as New York, Madrid, and Frankfurt, the demand for more capacities at the DE-CIX Internet Exchanges is high. Here, too, we are seeing new record levels of data traffic at peak times."

“In times when people have to practice social distancing and perhaps self-isolate, a direct connection to family, friends, and the company environment via the various private and business applications is essential. The operation of this application layer and the exchange of data must run smoothly. Here we see it as our maxim to guarantee our customers ­- and thus Internet users worldwide - a trouble-free, secure, and reliable Internet.”

The World Health Organization recommends that the majority of people in nations with Covid-19 should work from home if they can, and refrain from large gatherings.