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London Internet Exchange traffic breaks 6Gbps

Growth of 1Gbps/100 days

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Internet traffic travelling through the UK's main peering centre for ISPs has passed the 6 Gigabits per second milestone.

According to the latest figures from the London Internet Exchange (LINX), which handles more than 90 per cent of the UK's Internet traffic, the bandwidth it handles has more trebled in the last year alone.

Linx statistics, available here, show that it is now handling around 6.1Gbps at peak times of the day - which equates to 360,000 emails messages per second or more than 1,000 simultaneous broadcast-quality TV streams. Peak times are between 1400 and 1500 GMT.

Mike Hughes, head of network architecture at LINX, said that the bandwidth flowing through the exchange is growing by 1Gbps every 100 days or so, less than the doubling of traffic every three months seen in the late 1990s, but still impressive.

"The growth in unmetered and broadband Internet access is encouraging home use, and this linked to the growth in useful things to do online, such as buying train tickets, is spurring increased traffic on the Internet," said Hughes.

He added that Linx is signing up more members and this too is leading to a growth in the traffic it handles.

To cope with the demand this increase in bandwidth places on Linx's own infrastructure, the peering centre is installing Foundry Networks BigIron 15000 and 8000 switches at its exchanges. The £100,000 installation is part of Linx's preparations to deploy 10Gbps Ethernet, as a technology to carry traffic between sites, over its fibre optic cable infrastructure. ®

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