Global Used Cross-Border Bandwidth

Proof Point

Cross-border bandwidth expected to grow 57 times in last decade, from 7 terabits per second in 2006 to 397 in 2016

Global Used Cross-Border Bandwidth

2006 – 2021F (terabits per second)

Note: Used cross-border bandwidth is the sum of all capacity deployed for Internet backbones, private networks, and switched voice networks. It does not include capacity used for retention and redundancy purposes.

Proof Point Findings

  • Used Cross-Border Bandwidth Definition – Sum of all capacity deployed by providers for Internet backbones, private networks and switched voice networks between countries for transmitting Internet traffic
  • Dramatic Increase – Cross-border bandwidth expected to reach 1,914 terabits per second, up 273 times over 2006 and 5 times over 2016
  • Driven by Increase in Data Flow – Increased cross-border bandwidth needed to accommodate data flow requirements for exchanging information between businesses, online transactions, video/audio streaming, messaging and other communications, and online activities
  • Impact of Increasing Bandwidth to Global GDP – It is estimated that in 2014 global data flow contributed $2.8 trillion to world GDP or 36% of the total contribution of global flows (finance, trade and data), impressive contribution from an industry that started just a few decades back
  • Bandwidth Growth Assumption – Cross-border bandwidth will continue to grow over time as businesses and people from across international borders become more connected and increasing amount of transactions and human activities are facilitated online



Information Technology, Media and Entertainment, Telecommunications, Wholesale and Retail Trade


Date Last Updated

October 19, 2016

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