According to Teraco, internet traffic flowing through NAPAfrica culminated at 2.35 Tbps on 20 May 2022, a surge of over 441,911 per cent since South Africa launched its biggest Internet exchange.
NAPAfrica was launched in March 2012 by data centre company Teraco as a vendor-neutral Internet exchange point (INX).
The company offers free peering with no membership, port, or cross-connect fees, in order to encourage companies to bring their content and services closer to South Africans.
When NAPAfrica launched, it had five peers and recorded peak traffic of about 532 Mbps.
According to Teraco, this increased by 2014 when more than 100 networks were peering, with a throughput of 6 Gbps, and members doubled by 2016, while traffic surged to 100 Gbps.
That was also the year Netflix launched in the country.
NAPAfrica recorded that at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, it had reached 1 Tbps throughput across 430 members.
NAPAfrica’s recent traffic statistics show a peak throughput of just over 2.35 Tbps following the launch of Disney+ in South Africa.
This indicates an increase in internet traffic of 441,911 per cent in ten years.
Internet service providers have indicated that video streaming is the biggest traffic driver on their networks.
The South African market now offers numerous streaming services for customers to choose from, including BritBox, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Showmax and Netflix.
As more movies and TV content became accessible to South Africans, one of the previous drivers of big traffic — torrent downloads — decreased.
According to Teraco, video streaming services make it easy to watch content on various devices and are a good value for money, outweighing the risk of downloading films and shows over BitTorrent.