While you have lobbyists, consultants
claiming that the internet is on the verge of collapsing due to running out of bandwidth, it seems that the techies would beg to differ. We already pointed out that the report put out by D&T consultants was later refuted
by the folks who run the nodes that D&T insisted were at risk of being overwhelmed. Now we have Andrew Odlyzko adding more weight to the idea that the bandwidth crunch that so many lobbyists and telco execs seem to be screaming about is something of a myth
. Odlyzko, of course, is also the guy who pointed out that Worldcom was lying back during the dot com boom when it insisted that internet traffic was doubling every 100 days. Now he's noting that internet traffic growth is slowing -- which very few of the doomsday estimates take into account. Internet traffic is still growing, of course, but not at nearly as rapid a pace. That isn't surprising, after all. The internet is starting to reach maturity in terms of the number of folks who are joining in the developed world. Certainly, those people are using more and more bandwidth, but not at an overwhelming pace, and there appears to be plenty of capacity to keep up with the pace of growth. Once again, it looks like those warning of the imminent death of the internet are basing it either on faulty data or are extrapolating based on data that doesn't take into account slowing growth. Either way, it is interesting that the actual technologists never seem all that worried about running out of capacity. Hell, even when any telco exec breaks
the party line and admits that the threat of a bandwidth crunch is completely overstated
, it's always been the CTO who says so. Somehow, I get the feeling that the technology guys have a lot better handle on this than the lobbyists and the politicians...