Doom And Gloom: AP Latest To Claim The Internet Is Getting Clogged

from the that-damn-series-of-tubes-again dept

It really felt like we had just gone through this, but here we have a couple of articles from the Associated Press repeating the unsubstantiated claim that growing traffic on the internet is clogging it up. This has been the story that various ISPs have been claiming for a few years, but there’s little to no facts to substantiate it. Yes, traffic has been increasing, but when you get beyond the marketing and PR folks, the lawyers and the lobbyists — there’s little evidence to find that the growth in traffic is at risk of clogging anything. Research has shown that the internet remains blissfully unclogged and when you talk to the actual CTOs at ISPs, they seem perfectly happy to admit that there’s no bandwidth crunch. So why does the AP repeat the claim as if it’s fact, without any citations or evidence?

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Comments on “Doom And Gloom: AP Latest To Claim The Internet Is Getting Clogged”

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Etch says:

Re: We had just gone through this

Really?? EASILY get clogged?
And exactly where did you get that nonsense from?
And by the way: its not ONE tube, its a NETWORK. The whole IDEA behind a network is the fact that there are hundreds of different routes you can take to reach a certain point in a network, and besides, if you look at the underground/underwater cables that connect the world, not to mention the satellite links, none of them are anywhere NEAR being clogged, or run at full capacity!!
These claims are pure BS

Chronno S. Trigger says:

Re: Re: We had just gone through this

He’s being sarcastic (I hope)

My question is that if the Internet is so f’n clogged why can I get 3MB down from ATI (when comcast isn’t slowing my connection)?

I can tell you now that the cable companies can give much, much more from them to the home. It’s how on demand HD works. The trick is that they can’t give that kind of speed out. They don’t need to work on the last mile, they need to work on the first.

Etch says:

Re: Re: utilities

Yeah right.
The difference being that Entrepreneurs offer new services, or used a whole new medium (internet) to improve upon an existing system. But greed is simply jacking up prices and putting limitations while not offering any kind of improvement or anything new we weren’t getting before!

There is a clear distinction here. Greed is NEVER good.

Gunnar says:

Re: Re: utilities

You’re mistaking ambition for greed.

Those entrepreneurs were taking risks on ideas that looked good and would probably make them money, but that’s not greed. Greed money worship at the expense of everything else.

Greed is the CEO sitting on a festering monopoly protecting his business through legislation and scare tactics rather than investing in new infrastructure that would improve the customer’s experience, but probably wouldn’t bring in additional income.

The AP story says that ISPs expect the amount of traffic to be 4 times greater in 2011 than it is in 2007. What they fail to mention is that Japan or South Korea could handle that kind of increase now without breaking a sweat.

Gunnar says:

It looks like the AP moved two stories. One about the changes ISPs have made to cope with increased bandwidth and one about which companies are most affected by the increased bandwidth use that video brings (ie, ISPs that offer cable services). The stories are less about the Internet as a whole getting clogged and more about how cable companies are struggling to keep up with the bandwidth demands that Fiber handles by being a bigger pipe and dsl handles by being a dedicated line.

Josef Anvil says:


If the internet is clogged then why is it only affecting the cable companies? Im sure that the telco’s will be more than happy to let the cable guys convince consumers that there is a reason to pay more per month so they can download 12 or more movies, then they can charge even more for their new fiber services. Bottom line is that the ONLY people you hear claiming that there is a bandwidth crunch, are the people that want to charge more money for bandwidth. Hmmmmmmmmm. They must be right because they would never try to steal from us.

Anonymous Coward says:

ok think of it this way. Your the CEO of a top internet provider, and youre just not clearing enough profit to make you happy…sooo one of your buddies who works at this associated press stops by and ya shmooze him a little to get him to type up this bogus paper that the internet is getting clogged. now you could say to combat this issue your going to raise the rates of your services, to help “wean” out the trash so to speak..

Amanya Wannahearfrom says:

Your articles appears very mistaken

Presumably you speak of US “constipation” of internet.

Factually, most Europeans and others enjoy a faster (less constipated) flow than US- and say so every time I ask someone from say, England, Ireland, and more.

Remember available bandwidth is NOT about speed (Light travels at a fixed speed, far as I know electricity, radio waves, same) it is about not bogging down when tapped- which most ISPs are notorious for allowing.

When they say “No bottlenecks (ISPs) they mean THEIR connection- not the end users!

Our (end user) bottlenecks are directly where we get our internet from- the ISP (if there are other choices let me know) and invariably, when reporting “slow” downloads, they allege it is “Just how the system is”.

May I suggest you return to those same ISPs, pretend to seek customer support, and see what they tell you then in “Pass the buck” -ese.


Marcosll (user link) says:


I’m sick and tired of people complaining about infrastructure saturation as though the infrastructure itself cannot be improved.

“Oh no there’s drought we are out of water what will we dooo?”

“Oh no there are too many cars and traffic!”

“Oh no internet users are saturating the internet!”

What ever happened to the good old days when a service had to be improved it actually was?

Build desalination facilities and aqueducts (the Romans could 2000 years ago I’m sure we can too).

Improve traffic circulation, improve roads, build more highways!

Keep expanding and upgrading the internet. Run more fibre! Keep progressing!

Apartments Estepona

Joe Harkins (user link) says:

Marcosll – You were doing fine until you said:

“improve traffic circulation, improve roads, build more highways!”

The result of that always is more cars, more fossil fuel consumption, more pollution, more traffic, more roads, more highways, more cars, more fossil fuel consumption, more pollution, more traffic, more roads, more highways, etc. etc.

I hope you don’t intend that.

A more practical, longer lasting and less onerous solution is, build more and better public transportation systems. A maglev could cross North America in faster net time, downtown to downtown, than an airplane. Monorails, light rails and subways can be much better ways of getting around most large city.

Anonymous Coward says:

A Maglev can travel at about 300 mph, a plane, 550. NY to CA isn’t a good option for a Maglev.

As for the article, there is a problem with the Internet, but it is not in the backbone. That is fine. The problem is with the final mile. Ignoring the problems in the last mile is just stupid, because the whole system is only as fast as the slowest part.

Actually, even fiber will run into this issue, because typically it plugs into cable at the premise.

MaxB312 says:

It's not infinite

Bandwidth isn’t infinite. And because it isn’t infinite the more people using the network, the less room there is for new users. This is the reason for network management and it’s the reason why the FCC allows ISPs to manage the network. Richard Bennett, a network engineer, comments on the same AP story over on his blog:

“Indeed, one the major problems with Internet regulation is the tendency of the consumer lobby to insist it act like the old telephone network. If the only tool you have is a telecom regulation, every computer looks like a phone. But on the Internet and its access networks, every user competes with every other use for Quality of Service, and that’s why we need traffic shaping and other forms of QoS.”

sean/omar says:

net clog

The artical is pure B.S., yes the net is conjested, one of the easiest sites to go to, then was youtube, presently, it is now imposible to log onto it at any time of the day and to surf the web is also a joke due to the conjestion. The browser just hangs up as if its operating on old 56k speed. AND there is’nt a damm thing anyone can do about it; They, them, whoever are letting it happen, we’ll just wait to see the out-come as usual. Typical, get over on the custom by the so called public service industry.

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