How big is the Internet?
A report produced by Deloitte is claiming that we will suffer noticeable Internet bottlenecks this year. This will be due to a lack of investment in the infrastructure coupled with a growth in video traffic.
The report says that one of the key possibilities for 2007 is that the Internet could be approaching its capacity. 'The twin trends causing this are an explosion in demand, largely fuelled by the growth in video traffic and the lack of investment in new, functioning capacity,' said Igal Brightman, global managing partner at Deloitte. 'Bottlenecks are likely to become apparent in some of the Internet's backbones, the terabit-capable pipes exchanging traffic between continents.'
He said that investment, either in laying new cable or lighting existing fiber, may be stifled by continuing falls in wholesale capacity prices. He added that similar capacity constraints may well appear in the ISP and telecommunications networks that provide broadband connectivity to consumers. 'The impact may be most noticeable in the form of falling quality of service,' he said. 'Surfers are most likely to be annoyed by the slowdown in service. And it may only take an unexpected upsurge in video usage to turn the inconvenience caused by a drop in access speeds into full-scale consumer dissatisfaction.'
So it would appear that the Internet is only [-s o-] big.