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How the Netherlands Stays Connected During COVID-19

While companies around the world are forced to rely on digital networks and connectivity, the Netherlands’ digital infrastructure keeps everyone going

The Netherlands Digital Infrastructure

Now more than ever, digital infrastructure is playing a crucial role in establishing connections for businesses and people around the world. However, to make use of the opportunities offered by digitalization, we must be able to establish strong digital connections. Residents of the Netherlands have the benefit of living in one of Europe’s most-wired countries. In fact, the Netherlands boasts a state-of-the-art, 100% digital, advanced fiber-optic network and has one of the highest broadband penetrations per capita in the world. On top of that, 99% of all households in the Netherlands have access to the Internet, which is higher than the U.K. (93%), Ireland (89%) and Germany (94%).

Top digital infrastructure in Europe

top digital infrastructure in Europe

In addition to being connected through superior ports, airports and logistics networks, the Netherlands’ digital infrastructure offers connectivity that powers everything from global businesses to our everyday lives.

To determine the digital strength of countries around the world, Cisco conducted a study that produced insights into countries’ readiness to create a digital economy, including skill development, meeting people’s basic needs, a stimulating business environment and governmental investments.

The study took notice of the Netherlands and ranked the country No. 6 overall in the Digital Readiness Index 2019, thanks to a very good score in the field of Technology Infrastructure (2nd place) and Business & Government Investments (6th place).

Global companies that are advancing digital technology are also choosing to invest in Holland. Uber, Discovery and Ingram Micro are just a few digital-first companies that are taking advantage of the Netherlands’ high speed broadband network and connectivity for operations that include international headquarters, technology hubs and more.

Amsterdam Internet Exchange (AMS-IX)

Amsterdam Internet Exchange

So, who’s behind this world-class digital infrastructure and high-speed broadband? Meet Amsterdam Internet Exchange (AMS-IX). It’s one of the world’s largest internet exchanges and has made Amsterdam one of the most digitally connected cities in Europe.

For more than 25 years, AMS-IX has ensured that internet service providers, telecom companies and cloud providers route their global traffic in an efficient, secure and stable way. And now, AMS-IX is meeting increased demand from remote workers completing everyday tasks like conference calls, screenshares and even seeing a doctor via telemedicine.

Since COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic, AMS-IX has seen sharp increases in internet traffic. Internet traffic even broke through the 8 terabits per second barrier on March 30 and traffic from February to March 2020 increased by 17%, which is a colossal amount of data. In a news release, AMS-IX equated this amount of data to transmitting “roughly 175,000 times the complete works of William Shakespeare.”

“We are aware of our critical role as vital infrastructure and have taken all necessary measures to facilitate Internet growth. Millions of people are quarantined and depend on their Internet services for work and to keep a line with the outside world,” said AMS-IX CEO Peter van Burgel.

AMS-IX says the peak traffic is most likely a result of quarantine and “stay at home orders” being enforced around the world. As remote working and home learning become the new norm, the Netherlands’ digital infrastructure is contributing to the success of those working at home and other Dutch innovations like Helpr – the Utrecht-based startup that’s providing AI-powered study bots to enhance online tutoring for students.

The Netherlands’ digital infrastructure supports workforce skills

The Netherlands workforce

Not only does the Netherlands’ digital infrastructure power work-from-home connections, but its digital prowess strengthens the Netherlands’ workforce. In fact, the Netherlands has the largest share of inhabitants who are proficient in using internet, computers and software.

In 2019, half of the Dutch population aged 16 to 74 years had above basic overall digital skills, versus an average of 33 percent in the European Union, according to recent research. These digital skills are based on performance in four areas: information, communication, problem solving skills (computers/online services) and software. This means that the Dutch population is highly skilled in a variety of digital areas.

Want to learn more about the digital opportunities the Netherlands can provide? Contact us to start the conversation regarding your international ambitions.

14 April 2020

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