The ongoing decoupling of Asia, at least on the Internet

Posted on February 3, 2013  /  0 Comments

Telegeography reports that for the first time intra-Asian traffic on the Internet exceeds trans-Pacific traffic. Yet, there is also Asia-Europe traffic. When you add up the trans-Pacific and Asia-Europe, it is still larger than intra-Asia. But the trend line is clear. Next year, or the next, intra-Asian will be the biggest category of all. The importance of the terrestrial cable network we are working on with UN ESCAP will be that much greater.

GLOBAL internet traffic continues to soar, according to new data from TeleGeography, a research firm (see chart). Over the past five years the amount of active capacity on subsea cables has grown threefold, the fastest spurt since the internet went mainstream more than a decade ago. Then, the majority of traffic flowed between America and Europe. Now trans-Atlantic bandwidth accounts for only a quarter of the capacity in use. The fastest growing region for traffic is Asia.

Intra-Asian connections have overtaken trans-Pacific ones, mirroring Asia’s economic “decoupling” from America. New undersea cable links for sub-Saharan Africa have given the continent more connectivity at lower cost.


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