internet hub

The Internet Hub



pass (3) executive depend on
flow based in HD quality
triple handle (2) augmented
peak response circulation
expand relatively volume (3)
facility point (2) stream (2)
hub (2) fiber optic affordable
vast maintain complex (2)
sum demand infrastructure
lease tight (2) components
former network air-conditioned
rely store (2) connection
entire transmit superhighway
region quantity malfunction
secure showcase commission (2)
cable prototype for instance
sensor exchange prerequisite
leap space (2) cloud computing
boost quantum quantum leap
affect terabyte Industry 4.0
digital period (3) autonomous
vehicle currency automation





Thomas King is an executive at the world’s largest internet exchange based in Frankfurt.

Almost every e-mail, video and data file that is sent in Germany passes through these cables.

This digital data flow has more than tripled over the past ten years. The amount of internet traffic is measured in terabytes per second. At peak periods, his company handles 5.5 terabytes per second.

Thomas King, DE-CIX Chief Information Officer: “If you picture this: there’s 1.2 million people sitting at home streaming a video at HD quality on their television, mobile phone or smart phone — all at the same time.

That combined data volume is what travels through DE-CIX Frankfurt, each and every second.”

Mareike Jakobshagen works for InterXion, a company that provides data center services at internet exchange points.

InterXion is currently expanding its operation in Frankfurt. The new facilities are being built on former industrial sites which are still relatively affordable.

Frankfurt is a hub for fiber-optic networks including ones that connect to Eastern Europe and beyond.

Vast sums go into maintaining their infrastructure. This new complex for example cost about one hundred million euros.

Mareike Jakobshagen, Interxion: “We build a new data center every year. Demand is very high. Sometimes we will have already leased half the space in the new data center even before it’s opened its doors.”

Security is extremely tight at data centers, though none of data that passes through these air-conditioned rooms is actually stored here.

It’s all through traffic, made up of a vast number of connections from all over the world.

But how secure are the data superhighways that entire industries rely on?

If one internet hub, a larger internet hub malfunctioned, it could have an effect on an entire region. You might see slower response times, for example.

But generally speaking, the global internet would still work. Colleagues in the US wouldn’t be affected by a malfunction in Europe for instance.

Maximilan Brande is a software developer who specializes in industrial digitization.

His company was commissioned by a control box manufacturer to build a smart factory of the future, a showcase for what might be possible in Industry 4.0.

For example, the control boxes are designed on a computer. The 3D virtual prototype is transmitted online to the production area, where it’s then built.

Without internet hubs, this transmission would be impossible.

Maximilian Brandl, Eplan CEO: “We have all the prerequisites here: we have inexpensive sensors, software. We have great automation components. We have cloud applications. We have telecomm infrastructure.

That’s everything we really need to make the next quantum leap.

I’m seeing new ideas, new use cases developing everywhere.”

Industry 4.0 would also give Thomas King’s internet hub a major boost. The quantity of data in circulation would also increase due to the rise of autonomous vehicles, and virtual and augmented reality.

Thomas King, DE-CIX Chief Information Officer: “I can’t tell you exactly which of these technologies will come on top. But I can say that the future will bring increasing digitalization.”

As our world goes ever more digital, at work and at home, more and more of our lives will pass through cables like these. Data is the currency of the future. And that currency will depend on data hubs like this one in Frankfurt.

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1. The internet hub or internet exchange points in Frankfurt receives and transmits a lot of data. True or false? What are some examples of the data and devices?

2. Is InterXion an internet hub that handles data traffic?

3. Has there been an increase in data traffic over the years? Is there a great need for more internet data centers?

4. Are the internet hubs are similar to banks?

5. “None of data that passes through these air-conditioned rooms is actually stored.” What does this mean? What can you infer from this?

6. If an internet hub has a technical breakdown, no one will have internet access. Is this right or wrong?

7. Is the internet only useful for information and finance? Does it have applications in manufacturing?

8. In the future, will there be more, less or the same amount of data traffic and internet hubs?


A. Are there internet hubs in your city?

B. Why is security at internet hubs very tight?

C. Do you know anyone who works at, for or with internet hubs?

D. Are there any potential problems at internet hubs?

E. What will happen in the future?

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