Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sustaining the Growth of Internet

Widespread claims of Internet traffic doubling every three or four months are exaggerated. Actual U.S. backbone traffic appears to be doubling once a year.“Traffic doubling each year” refers here to any growth rate between 70 and 150% per year. Imprecision caused by incomplete statistics.There was a slowdown in growth, but that occurred in 1997. Ever since, growth has been steady and rapid, although not as astronomical as popular mythology holds. Even if the problems related to high speed fibre networks are solved, there appears to be a limit at which traffic is likely to grow, caused by the many other feedback loops operating on different time scales.

In a world-first model of internet power consumption, University of Melbourne researchers have been able to identify the major contributors to Internet power consumption as the take-up of broadband services grows in the coming years.

"It has now become clear that the exponential growth of the Internet is not sustainable, "said Dr Hinton.The result indicates that, even with the improvements in energy efficiency of electronics, the power consumption of the Internet will increase from 0.5% of today's national electricity consumption to 1% by around 2020.

"The growth of the Internet, IT broadband telecommunications have opened up a wide range of new products and services. New home services include Video on Demand, web based real-time gaming, social networking, peer-to-peer networking and more. For the business community, new services may include video conferencing, outsourcing and tele-working. To support these new high-bandwidth services, the capacity of the Internet will need to be significantly increased. If Internet capacity is increased, the energy consumption, and consequently the carbon footprint of the Internet will also increase", Dr Hinton quoted.

Reference:­ /releases/2008/11/081125113116.htm


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Katie said... had a similar post last week on internet traffic called "Internet Traffic Growth?". Growth projections from the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal (which references Nemertes Research projections) seem to be pretty dramatic.