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Inter-regional connectivity: A less US-centric web

May 30, 2012

John Hayduk   

Blog Contributor

The growth of inter-regional connectivity means bringing content closer to consumers, not only in its consumption but, excitingly, in its creation. Today, more than ever, global connectivity is allowing a new generation of content innovators and creators – from fields as varied as film, music, and fashion to science, technology and engineering – to reach out to the wider world, instantly.

The US has traditionally been known as the home of the Internet. It has been the origin of a lot of internet innovations and milestones but as global infrastructure development continues, content providers are seeing opportunities to deliver content where their audiences are and increasingly that means keeping content in region.

Over the last 10 years, we’ve seen web traffic move from in and out of the US to a cross-connected fabric. What this means is that geography is no longer a limitation. A brand new world of innovative and fresh content is being created by inspired individuals, uploaded to the Internet and made accessible to others all over the globe. This push effect is being mirrored by consumers of content not just looking to US sources, but now more proactively seeking out a broader range and depth of engaging content available from other parts of the world, particularly from emerging markets which have a wealth of cultural inspirations to draw from.

In short, with an increase in internet penetration across the globe and the depth of inter-regional connectivity, people are creating and demanding content that is closer to home. This trend has been validated by the survey findings in our recent ‘Connected World’ Emerging markets whitepaper, which shows that one of the most fundamental and long lasting changes of the past decade has been the rapid emergence of markets such as China and India.

Audiences are growing across different regions as internet penetration goes up with bandwidth growth. This has given birth to more country or region-specific content and you want to get that content as close to your end customer as possible to eliminate issues or failures in service.

Market research firm, Telegeography noted that in Asia the pace of growth on intra-Asian links has surpassed that of trans-Pacific links over the same timeframe. This means that Asian relevant content is increasingly being accessed in Asian markets rather than looking back to the US across Pacific cable links. It’s an incredibly interesting trend and demonstrates that markets beyond the US have become more web savvy.

For content providers the opportunity opened up by greater inter-regional connectivity is the availability of a wider range of options where they can host their content, make it accessible to consumers and offer a differentiated experience to their customers. Content that is closer to consumers is delivered with greater reliability and with greater quality of experience.

Interestingly, at Tata Communications we are seeing more demand to place content regionally so that consumers have better access and experiences, and in line with this, greater expectations on the global network and accessibility to global connectivity. We are clearly at a tipping point in the creation and access of content over the Internet, which means some potential challenges but a wealth of opportunity ahead!