Willemstad. Curaçao. 21:45. The sun went down a couple of hours ago, but the air is still warm and humid. At a dark parking lot surrounded by sand coloured buildings we have just witnessed a new record. An internet traffic record to be precise. The solar panels on the buildings might give away a glimpse of the hi-tech nature of this record, as behind these sand coloured walls the digital infrastructure of one of the largest internet hubs between South-America and North America is housed: AMS-IX Caribbean.
Thursday, April 6, 21:45 (local time, AST -0400 UTC) will go in the books as the day and time when the internet traffic over the exchange reached a peak of 17.25 Gb/s. A 25% increase compared to one week earlier. But where does this sudden increase come from?
Nico Scheper, Business Development Manager at AMS-IX Caribbean provides us with the context:
“First of all, this is not a sudden increase. We have been working hard the last couple of years to get parties to join our Internet Exchange and our hard work is paying off. As of last week we have seen a sharp increase of 25% more traffic. This is due to the fact that a number of large CDN’s (Content Delivery Networks) have recently joined and are now connected and exchanging traffic over our platform. These large CDN’s will attract other parties and eventually boost the traffic even more.
Our primary focus stays on the so-called Business-to-Business area. That is also the true nature of an IXP (Internet Exchange Point), facilitating the exchange of IP (Internet Protocol) traffic between connected networks or in other words facilitate the swap of internet traffic freely between networks with closed wallets.
From a day-to-day perspective, the people living and working in Curaçao, Bonaire and Aruba are connected to the internet through their local Internet Service Providers (ISP’s). The last years, the internet experience has improved. Meaning average download speed has increased significantly to on average of 17.5 Mbps and an increase of the fixed broadband internet penetration to about 80%. By caching Cloudflare, Google, YouTube, Akamai, Facebook and Netflix locally, the end users are enjoying single digit latency Internet performance.
Looking forward for AMS-IX Caribbean, we aim on continued growth: traffic-wise and connected parties-wise. We will have special focus on adding new submarine cable systems routes to the exchange, targeting new geographical markets.”