Sweden: Copyright law sparks 40% decrease in Internet traffic

Stockholm (Sweden) – Over the past two days, Internet traffic has declined in Sweden by more than 40% following an online copyright violation law that’s now in effect. The law makes it easier to prosecute individual file sharers who swap copyrighted material using P2P clients.

Jon Karlung, CEO of the Swedish ISP Banhof, said “Half the Internet is gone. If this pattern keeps up, it means the extensive broadband network we’ve built will lose its significance.” Hardly true though, as those who use the web legitimately will have even faster ping times and throughput. Still, it does point to the reality of just how much illegal traffic is out there on the web.

Netnod Internet Exchange, a company monitoring Internet traffic, reported that daily online usage had dropped in excess of 40% since the law took effect this past Wednesday.

Sweden is one of Europe’s most Internet-enabled countries, with a huge high-speed infrastructure built into its society. On average, the Swedish broadband user currently enjoys speeds in excess of 8 Mbps (1 Megabyte per second), though services are offered at various places in excess of 50 Mbps (6.25 Megabytes per second) as well.
Sweden is also home to a 75-year old woman (Sigbritt Löthberg) who recently received the country’s first 40 Gbps (not Mbps) Internet connection as part of a test with her son’s research, Swedish Internet legend Peter Löthberg. At last report, it was north of 60 Gbps. A 40 Gbps Internet connection is enough to stream 1500 HDTV channels in real-time.

Sweden’s extensive societal Internet infiltration and adoption has made the country a desirable hub for would-be hackers, pirates and thieves who like to conduct their illegal surfing in the fast lane.

There are currently concerns over the new law, that it will put Sweden’s position as a leader in online technologies at risk.

See the original AP article republished on Yahoo News.