Britons went online in unprecedented numbers this Christmas, with Internet traffic 50 percent up on last year.
Internet traffic flowing through the London Internet Exchange (LINX), which handles more than 90 per cent of the UK’s Internet traffic, peaked at 25 Gbps on Boxing Day and at over 22 Gbps on Christmas Day itself. This is more than 50 per cent higher than the level of the same period last year, when the Boxing Day peak was 17 Gbps and the Christmas Day peak 15 Gbps.
LINX said that Christmas gifts and greetings, as well as routine business use of the Internet and the increasing internationalisation of the medium, all contributed to the rise in traffic.
The rise in traffic should bring cheer to online retailers and put an end to those who said the end of the dot-com boom also meant an end to e-commerce.
This year's traffic was three times higher than that recorded during Christmas 2001, said LINX. Then, the flow of Internet traffic through LINX facilities peaked at around 9 Gbps on Boxing Day and 8 Gbps on Christmas Day -- so traffic this year is about three times the level of only two years ago.
"The trend for Christmas traffic has reflected that of the past few weeks," said LINX sales and marketing manager Vanessa Evans, in a statement. "Traffic in November and December has been 50 per cent above the level of the same period in 2002. Growth has not been steady throughout the year, however, and the rate of increase over the few weeks prior to Christmas has been quite phenomenal while traffic levels over the summer remained relatively static."