Human Geography

Global cost of data

I have three different web server accounts now-a-days, whittled down significantly over time once I found a provider I was happy with that supported multiple domains (I am afraid to even count the number of domains I have sitting doing nothing but representing an idea). The multidomain provider is in the UK. Then I have two accounts with another provider where my original account with them is in China and the newer account is in their US data center. Earlier this week I received an email from the China/US provider suggesting that I switch the site I have on their server in China to their US center. I was a bit shocked since I have tried to make that very move before and their were more hoops to jump through than I was willing to go through, now happily it is a single click on my administrator account page.

The change in heart? It was actually (as to be expected) a change in their wallet. Apparently through a number of factors their costs for bandwidth in Asia have skyrocketed to the point where they claim that it costs them 10 times as much now per megabit of traffic. Looking at this from a global market perspective it isn’t too surprising with the dollar not exactly strong. Locally (without any research, just a broad trends statement) it looks like the increasing internet market in China is putting pressure on resources and infrastructure…aka supply is probably being outstripped by demand.

While it is only a small indicator of what is probably a number of processes at work, it is an interesting blip to pop up on my radar. Does anyone have hard statistics or numbers for the cost of bandwidth in China? After exams are over, I may even look into myself 🙂