The biggest inauguration ever. Record-breaking. Yuge. While that may not be, y'know, true, President Donald Trump's ascension to the highest office of the United States did break at least one record. But it's probably not one Trump will care about.
Akamai, which runs over 216,000 servers in 120 countries around the world, is responsible for transporting 30 per cent of the world's internet traffic. A huge proportion of that is streaming online video, and the world's largest CDN says that the swearing in of President-elect Trump was the largest event in its history.
Streaming video transfer around the planet topped out at 8.7 terabits per second, the largest single news event that Akamai has ever delivered. It considerably outshone the next closest event, the US election day in November last year, which peaked at 7.5Tbps. It's also significantly higher than the online traffic for the first Obama inauguration in 2009, which peaked at 1.1Tbps.
It's worth remembering, though, that a lot has changed online in the eight years between Presidents Trump and Obama's first inaugurations. Streaming video has evolved massively, as has the quality of internet connections around the globe more generally. More people have access to the internet and to the devices on which they can access streaming video, and we'd guess this, not overall popularity, is responsible for the disparity in outright data records for each.
Akamai says that higher quality video being shared and consumed more readily, too, which exponentially increases the volume of content delivered as extra users consume it: "It’s a combination of both factors that contributed to the peak. Akamai is seeing more and more people watching in general, and they’re doing so at higher quality."
Importantly, Akamai doesn't have any point of reference to the second (2013) Obama presidential inauguration, so any comparison there in terms of pure bits and bytes transferred across the 'net is pointless. We'll leave that to the pundits. [Akamai]