• 2001-2013-stor

Capacity and traffic 1995-2012

The growth and usage of international capacity in Iceland

The International capacity between 1995 to 2012 has increased by a factor of 50.000 during these 17 years.  This  is equivalent to an average annual growth of 90%.  This is almost doubling of capacity per year.  The actual increase has not always been with the same rate during the period.  The highest growth was during 1995 to 2002 when households and companies were actually getting their first Internet connections.  Hence the growth was due to increased user base and increase in usage per connection at the same time.  Since then the major growth was because of new applications which took advantage of higher access speed in the form of ADSL plus fiber  and higher performance in actual end user devices.

The first actual International Internet connection from Iceland was in the year 1987 but the history from 1987 to 1995 is not the subject here although highly interessant. Let us take a look at the period 1995 to 2002.  In August 1995 the University Research network was the only provider of International connectivity with 256 kb/s (kilobits per seconds) or 0,256 Mb/s circuit.  In September 1995 this bandwidth was increased to 1 Mb/s which was thought to be enourmous then.  The incumbent Síminn (then Landssími Íslands) soon started Internet services with own dedicated circuits and the total bandwidth was  6 Mb/s in September 1996.   The bandwidth  was delivered over the Cantat-3 submarine cable which was operational in 1994 with a capacity of 5 Gb/s out of Iceland. 

The actual traffic increase between 1995 and 2002 can be estimated to be around 100% annually. The high growth in capacity during 1999-2000 was a contribution from a newcomer on the market (Íslandssími now Vodafone) with 2x45 Mb/s and an increase of the University network to 45 Mb/s at the same time.  

The average annual increase from 2001 to 2012 is estimated to be between 50% and 55% which similiar to experiences in other Western Europan countries with high Internet penetration like Iceland.

Forecasts based on 50% to 55% growth models indicate that Iceland might need 150-200 Gb/s of capacity in the year 2017.   Please take into account that this only domestic usage of Iceland and does not include data center related capacity which is likely to be more than double the domestic usage.