The Coming Bandwidth Explosion

FibreopticIt’s been building for years, and now it appears we are nearing a tipping point that will result in a massive explosion in Internet traffic. A great article here from Ars Technica about how the Net will cope. Of particular note, I found these statistics amazing.

  • One-third of the world’s population is on-line
  • Global IP traffic increased eightfold in the past five years and will quadruple by 2015.
  • Video is the primary driver of the data glut. Video is now the largest type of Internet traffic surpassing peer-to-peer file sharing.
  • Videoconferencing is the fastest growing business application.
  • Mobile Internet devices will soon outnumber the people of earth, reaching 10 billion by 2016.

Lots of work is being done to meet the demand from more undersea cables to the Internet 2 project. None of this surprises me as I have been working and monitoring the Internet space for years. I get especially frustrated with wireless companies who complain of the data use on their networks and now have put data caps on all their services. Clearly, they have not been able to keep up and the advent of the Smartphone took them by surprise. For technology based companies, they have not been very forward looking. Especially ironic is the fact that it is here in America where we invent most of the technology that drives the Internet and yet we are the country far behind in our own Internet infrastructure. We hardly have the fastest and most advanced Internet speeds in the world. The bandwidth explosion is coming; I hope we’re ready.