2015-05-18

Internet Backbone Bandwidth Boom Driven By Content Provider Networks

Global Submarine Cable Map
Global Submarine Cable Map - Source: Greg's Cable Map (GPLv3)


"Cables lying on the seafloor bring the internet to the world. They transmit 99 percent of international data, make transoceanic communication possible in an instant, and serve as a loose proxy for the international trade that connects advanced economies." -Vox
"...The United States is by far the most connected country in the world, with submarine cable landing points on both coasts that connect it to most other continents..." (source: Oxford Internet Institute)

Thumbnail of telegeography.com's Global Internet Map 2012
At left: thumbnail from Telegeography.com's Global Internet Map 2012 shows major US internet backbone hub gateways--New York City, Washington, D.C., Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco metros--as well as the number one hub in the world in capacity in 2011: London (UK). Over 11 Tbps of international Internet capacity connected to London in 2011.

New data from TeleGeography and its Global Bandwidth Research Service indicates international bandwidth grew 44 percent in 2014, to reach 211 Tbps. The 65 Tbps of new capacity deployed in 2014 equals nearly the entire amount of bandwidth in service globally in 2011. This rapid capacity growth is driven by a changing mix of global network operators--private networks, particularly those of large content providers like Google, Facebook, and Microsoft, account for a growing share of international bandwidth, even surpassing public Internet bandwidth on the trans-Atlantic route last year. As a result, network operation is now a core part of the business for some of the largest content providers. Opportunities still exist for traditional network operators as not all wholesale customers can achieve the large scale of content companies, leaving substantial demand for purchases of increments of capacity.

Web Companies Driving Construction Boom at Internet’s Core - WSJ: "... Google has been an aggressive builder of network pipes. The company helped build a trans-Pacific submarine cable finished in 2010 and is in the process of funding another one. The company also took a one-third stake in another fiber optic cable that will link the U.S. to Brazil... A Google spokeswoman said the network investments allow the company to provide users with better, faster services. Facebook and Microsoft are also investing heavily in the building blocks of a private global network. The pair helped secure funding for a new cable called AEConnect between Ireland and the U.S., according to a person familiar with the matter..." 

Google Peering & Content Delivery: "... How does Google deliver traffic to users? In the core: We invest and build our global backbone network to connect our data centers and transport traffic to Internet aggregation points. We carry traffic as far as possible on our own network. At the edge: We peer directly with access network operators and ISPs. Google treats all operators equally with an open, settlement-free peering policy. Beyond the edge: We deploy the Google Global Cache platform in access providers' networks to deliver content even closer to users, and reduce transport costs for operators..."

China Approves New Crossing-Pacific Cable Project"A new multinational crossing-Pacific submarine cable project which directly connects China and the US has been approved by China's National Development and Reform Commission. China's three telecommunication giants, China Telecom, China Unicom and China Mobile, together with companies from several other countries and regions, will jointly contribute to the funding and construction. The project is designed with a total length of around 14-thousand kilometers and a total capacity of 60 Tb/s...." (May 2, 2015)

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