Broadband Crunch Still Nowhere To Be Found; Internet Growth May Actually Be Slowing

from the overreact-much? dept

While consultants, telco lobbyists and politicians keep insisting that the internet is on the verge of collapse as more high bandwdith apps and services move online, we continue to rely on the folks who actually understand what's going on (and have access to real traffic reports) to give us a more accurate picture. The most reliable on this subject tends to be Andrew Odlyzko who has been calling the claims of a coming broadband crunch a myth for quite some time.

Broadband Reports points out that Odlyzko is back with his latest analysis of internet traffic (and he actually makes his data available). And, once again, he's quite skeptical of any broadband crunch, noting that internet traffic appears to be growing at a rather predictable pace that can easily be handled by standard technology upgrades.

Actually, he notes that there's even some evidence of that internet growth is actually slowing down. If anything, he suggests that broadband ISPs would probably be better served encouraging greater usage, because it looks like the growth rates aren't keeping up with what they once were. He also notes that in other countries, where there's much greater broadband than in the US, there isn't necessarily a huge corresponding growth in internet usage -- suggesting that, unlike what some claim, there is a point of bandwidth saturation (at least until new apps come along). So the next time you hear a politician or lobbyist insist that the internet is on the verge of collapse, point them over to Odlyzko's data, and suggest that we should be focusing on ways to encourage more internet usage, rather than limiting it with silly and totally unnecessary things like metered broadband usage.

Filed Under: andrew odlyzko, broadband, broadband crunch

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Aug 2008 @ 12:16pm

    Re: Re: Metered Service

    But, either way broadband and electricity are quite different animals, and I'd argue that if electricity were charged on a flat rate basis, you'd see a lot more interesting products out in the market than you do today.
    So you think that metered electricity is holding back innovation in the field of electrictiy? Wow, I'll have to remember that one. I think that if you ask most people to list the major innovations of the last 100 years there would be a lot electrical devices on that list (electric lighting, radio/television, computers/internet, electrical refrigeration/cooling, etc.). Perhaps you've heard of some of these things? And all with metered electricity. You see, metering allowed the power companies to be neutral as to what the electricity was being used for or how much of it the customer used as long as the customer paid for it. I wonder how many of those things the power companies would have permitted (especially air conditioning) if in the absence of metering they sought to limit usage by limiting applications instead.

    How much real innovation have you seen in electric service lately anyway?
    Actually, I'd say that metering is the driving force behind most innovations in improving electrical energy efficiency and finding new sources of energy from which to produce electricity. There is a lot of activity in those areas, yet you speak as if you aren't aware of any of it. I find that very odd.

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