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Global internet bandwidth close to 1Pbps in 2022, finds TeleGeography

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TeleGeography has found that global internet bandwidth rose by 28% in 2022, reaching just shy of 1Pbps at 997Tbps.

The new record amounts to a four-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 29%, with TeleGeography forecasting that the 'Pbps era' will soon be underway. The figures come from TeleGeography’s latest Global Internet Geography research, which tracks the return to normal following the pandemic-generated increase in 2020.

Geographically, Africa experienced the fastest growth of international internet bandwidth, increasing at a CAGR of 44% between 2018 and 2022. Asia follows, rising at a 35% CAGR for te same period.

Globally, and excluding the Covid increased surge, the pace of growth in global internet bandwidth has been slowing, although has still almost tripled since 2018.

“After a tumultuous 2020—with pandemic-induced volume surges and shifts in internet traffic patterns—network operators are back to adding bandwidth and engineering their traffic in a more measured manner,” said Paul Brodsky, senior research manager at TeleGeography.

“Based on hard survey data gathered from dozens of regional and global network operators around the world, it’s clear that the COVID-related expansion of internet traffic and bandwidth was a one-off phenomenon.”

Average and peak international internet traffic increased at a CAGR of 30% between 2018 and 2022, in line with the 29% CAGR in bandwidth, over the same period.

Average traffic growth dropped from 47% between 2019-2020 to 29% between 2021-2022, while peak traffic growth dropped from 46% to 28%, over the same time period. Global average and peak use rates came in at 26% and 45% in 2021 and 2022 respectively.

Transit prices led by providers’ shift to largely 100Gbps internet backbones saw prices across seven major global hub cities continue to fall. 10 GigE prices fell 16% compounded annually from Q2 2019 to Q2 2022, while 100 GigE port prices fell 25%.