Average internet traffic on the BNIX platform dropped for the first time in 2022 – ICT news

After years of solid growth, internet traffic on BNIX has dwindle for the first time last year. BNIX is the national internet node through which a large part of Belgian internet traffic passes. In 2022, both average traffic and peaks were lower than those of the record year of 2021. This is explained by the lifting of major restrictions that weighed on businesses and individuals during the coronavirus pandemic.

Belnet, the IT partner for research, education and administration that manages the BNIX platform, recorded an average data traffic of 198 gigabits per second on the BNIX platform last year. This represents a decrease of 13% compared to 2021.

“These figures do not surprise us”, says Stefan Gulinck, co-responsible for BNIX as Network Architect at Belnet. “Internet traffic exploded in 2020 due to the pandemic and was even higher in 2021, with traffic averaging 224 Gbit/s and peaking at 638 Gbit/s. Mandatory telecommuting during the crisis has greatly increased call traffic video, for example, while the general public spent their time watching TV during the lockdowns. The lifting of these measures has reduced traffic on BNIX from the end of 2021 and throughout 2022. Therefore this decline is in reality more return to normal Internet traffic after the measures against the coronavirus: if we compare the fall of 2022 with the fall of 2021, we even see a slight increase up traffic.”

A huge increase compared to 2019

The relative decline in 2022 compared to 2021 is evident if 2019 is used as a comparison. At that time, the average traffic was only 160 Gbit/s. So, despite the recent decline, traffic passing through BNIX last year is 40% higher than three years ago. According to Stefan Gulinck, you don’t have to look far to find the reasons for this: “At the professional level, telecommuting and video calling have now become commonplace and, in recent years, organizations have also massively transferred data from on-premise systems in the cloud. In addition, in our private lives, we consume more and more digital content with a higher and higher resolution. Of course, there are other elements that affect traffic on BNIX, such as the slightly fluctuating number of participants and initiatives of “direct matching”*, but overall the trends are very clear.”

One of these trends is the permanent disappearance of the large evening peak. Today, for each working day, we find that Internet traffic is represented by a plateau, ranging from morning (from 8 am) to evening (until at least 10 pm). This trend is mainly explained by the growth of the cloud in the company, which generates massive data traffic, especially during the day.

Climax on National Strike Day

In 2022, BNIX hit an all-time high on Wednesday, November 9th. 480 gigabits per second passed through the platform that day at 5:00 p.m. “An increase is always due to a combination of factors and it is very likely that the day of the national strike – with the disruption of public transport, which has caused many people to work from home – is one of them. This may have been made worse by the fact that Wednesday is a popular telecommuting day anyway.”

Belnet, the IT partner for research, education and administration that manages the BNIX platform, recorded an average data traffic of 198 gigabits per second on the BNIX platform last year. This represents a 13% decrease compared to 2021. “These numbers do not surprise us,” says Stefan Gulinck, co-responsible for BNIX as Network Architect at Belnet. “Internet traffic exploded in 2020 due to the pandemic and was even higher in 2021, with traffic averaging 224 Gbit/s and peaking at 638 Gbit/s. Mandatory telecommuting during the crisis has greatly increased call traffic video, for example, while the general public spent their time watching TV during the jams. The removal of these measures has reduced traffic on BNIX from late 2021 and throughout 2022. Therefore, this decrease is in reality more of a return to normality in internet traffic after the anti-coronavirus measures: if we compare autumn 2022 with autumn 2021, we even see a very slight increase in traffic.” The relative decrease in 2022 compared to 2021 is evident if we use 2019 as a comparison. At that time, the average traffic was only 160 Gbit/s. So, despite the recent decline, traffic passing through BNIX last year is 40% higher than three years ago. According to Stefan Gulinck, you don’t have to look far to find the reasons for this: “At the professional level, telecommuting and video calling have now become commonplace and, in recent years, organizations have also massively transferred data from on-premise systems in the cloud. In addition, in our private lives, we consume more and more digital content with a higher and higher resolution. Of course, there are other elements that affect traffic on BNIX, such as the slightly fluctuating number of participants and Initiatives of ‘direct match’* but, in general, the trends are very clear.” One of these trends is the eventual disappearance of the large evening peak. Today, for each working day, we see that Internet traffic is represented by a plateau, varying from morning (from 8 am) to evening (at least until 10 pm). This trend is mainly explained by the growth of cloud computing in companies, which generates massive data traffic, especially during the day. In 2022, BNIX recorded its all-time high on Wednesday, November 9th. 480 gigabits per second passed through the platform that day at 5:00 p.m. “An increase is always due to a combination of factors and it is very likely that the national day of strike – with public transport being disrupted, which has forced many people to work from home – is one of them. This may have been made worse by the fact that Wednesday is a popular telecommuting day anyway.”

Leave a Comment