India is home to 400 million Internet users, second only to China, and will add more new users this year than any other country in the world. CloudFlare protects and accelerates 4 million websites, mobile apps and APIs, and is trusted by over 10,000 new customers each day. Combine these forces, and we are positioned to connect hundreds of millions of Indian users with the millions of Internet applications they use each day.
Today, we accelerate this momentum with the announcement of three new points of presence (PoPs) in Mumbai, Chennai and New Delhi. These new sites represent the 66th, 67th and 68th data centers respectively across our global network.
We’ve come a long way
The beginnings of the “internet” in India as we know it started in 1986 when the country launched ERNET (the Education and Research Network). Six years later, a 64 Kbps digital leased line was commissioned from the National Centre for Software Technology in Mumbai to UUNet in Virginia to connect India with the rest of the internet. By comparison, a single port on our router in each of Mumbai, Chennai and New Delhi has nearly 160,000 times the capacity today.
The pace of progress has been rapid, as has internet adoption in India. While it took more than a decade to move from 10 million to 100 million users, it took only 3 years to grow from 100 million to 200 million, and only a year to move from 300 million to 400 million users.
Every millisecond counts
CloudFlare has always offered better performance in India for applications hosted outside of the country by delivering content incrementally closer to Indian end users. However, local traffic destined for Indian websites and mobile apps was routed through our Singapore, Hong Kong and London data centers with latency approaching 150ms. Until today.
Our new PoPs enable us to not only significantly improve the performance for applications outside of India, but also for those inside. The range of websites and apps that are now faster include some of India’s leading banks, newspapers, e-commerce startups and nonprofits, such as Ola and Amar Ujala.
As of this moment, our data centers in Mumbai, Chennai and New Delhi are serving all CloudFlare customer content in under 50 milliseconds to users across the entire Indian subcontinent, about 7 times faster than the blink of an eye. And we’re not done yet—we’re still making tweaks to further decrease latency.
Our expansion continues
In the last five years, CloudFlare has grown from delivering 500,000 page views per month for 5,000 customers to over 1 trillion page views each month across 4 million Internet properties. Key to this growth is the expansion of our network to make the Internet safer and faster for an ever increasing portion of the planet.
Our expansion into India brings us to 38 new data centers launched year-to-date in 2015, and we've now announced four of the five new data centers for this very busy week. Can you guess the next one? Hint: if you like a faster internet, yo’ del-finitely in luck.
— The CloudFlare team
Photo source: Daniel Mennerich; images used under creative commons license. Data on Internet adoption from Internet and Mobile Association of India