Japan's 2020 internet traffic sees 78-fold jump from 2004 level

Kyodo -- May 10
Internet traffic in Japan saw a some 78-time increase in 2020 from the 2004 level, partly due to a surge in online communications in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, according to government data.

Compared to pre-COVID-19 2019 levels, traffic climbed 1.6 times as the pandemic led to an increase in at-home videoconferencing, distance learning and video streaming.

Data traffic in Japan has risen continuously since the internet was made available around 1995.

Technological advances started with messages limited to text and then to explosive exchanges of photos and videos along with the rapid growth of social media networks and streaming services.

The surge in traffic has sparked concerns that heavy network congestion may risk a breakdown of online communications, leading the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications to take measures to cushion such a negative impact.

Traffic is expected to only grow as the Internet of Things, which also connects home appliances, becomes increasingly integrated into personal lives.

- Kyodo