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Internet traffic sees dip, surge during PM Modi’s 9pm 9 minute

During PM Modi’s 9pm 9 minute campaign on April 5, internet traffic dipped sharply as people switched their house lights off, and rose sharply again, surging past the pre-9pm levels as the lights came back on. Extreme Internet Exchange, which transports around 750 Gbps of Indian internet traffic at peak times, recorded a sharp 350Gbps drop at 9 pm, and a whopping 400Gbps increase after the end of the activity, as people came back online. AMS-IX, another internet exchange, recorded the same dynamic, indicating that a large volume of people went to sleep later than usual, after spending more time than usual on the internet.

Extreme Internet Exchange’s dip and surge during the 9pm 9 minute campaign.


AMS-IX’s dip and surge during the 9 pm 9 minute campaign.

NIXI recorded a drop of over 30 Gbps as well:

NIXI traffic on 5 April dipping and surging back during 9pm 9 minute campaign.

But for this anomaly, internet traffic across exchanges (which does not include telcos, who say that their networks have seen a 30% spike) have more or less stabilised. But they have stabilised on a much higher scale — 20% if Extreme IX’s traffic is taken as representative of all web traffic:

Extreme IX traffic over the last week.

To put that into perspective, here is daily traffic since a little before the COVID-19 lockdown started:

Monthly traffic on Extreme IX from early March to present day.

Here’s the corresponding data for DE-CIX India (formerly Mumbai Internet Exchange). DE-CIX’s traffic has seen much higher and less sustained spikes than Extreme or AMS, and even there, traffic has more or less continued the trend of stability we pointed out last week:

DE-CIX India Weekly traffic until 5 April

DE-CIX India monthly traffic until 5 April

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