Eleven years ago, Bob Metcalfe, the inventor of ethernet, wrote in a column that the internet would collapse in 1996 due to a variety of things that would all pile up and destroy it. A year later, he ate his column in a very public demonstration admitting he was wrong. Since then, though, it's become quite common for people to predict that the internet is on the verge of collapsing (that link says it will collapse in 2006... whoops). The latest is even more ridiculous, as a think tank guy is warning that the internet is about to collapse, and that it's all the network neutrality supporters who are to blame. It's based on a Deloitte & Touche report, claiming that there hasn't been enough backbone buildout to handle the growth in traffic -- and the writer somehow connects this to network neutrality by saying it's because of fear over network neutrality rules that the buildout isn't happening. There's just one problem, as Broadband Reports points out, the D&T report doesn't mention network neutrality at all (Update: it's been pointed out that it does mention network neutrality, but not in a way that suggests network neutrality laws would cause the internet to go bust), and there's no evidence to suggest that network neutrality has anything to do with backbone buildout. Most of the network neutrality issues that people are discussing are much more focused on the last mile anyway, rather than the backbone. Perhaps a bigger reason that we haven't seen much growth in capacity is that companies still remember what happened during the last boom, when investments in core infrastructure got way, way ahead of demand, leading to a ton of unlit fiber... and bankrupt companies. If there's real demand for more capacity, there will be business models to support it, whether or not network neutrality is in place.
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