We recently pointed out yet another telco-funded study warning about how the internet was going to be overwhelmed
by massive traffic growth if the government didn't step in and give telcos everything they wished. However, the University of Minnesota's Minnesota Internet Traffic Studies (MINTS) has responded to the report noting, yet again, that the data put forth by the telcos is totally overblown. The actual evidence suggests internet growth is not nearly as rapid as the original report stated
and, in fact, there's substantial evidence that the rate of internet usage is slowing. Just as we've seen from various earlier studies, it appears that regular upgrades to equipment, rather than wholesale gov't handouts to telcos, should be more than enough to keep the internet humming.
But don't be surprised to start seeing other fear tactics come into play. For example, an anonymous reader sent in news of a report coming out of Australia, warning that we shouldn't just be worried about bandwidth running out, but that all the energy it takes to run the internet will now be putting a strain on the electric grid
. Of course, that seems to assume the same rapid pace of growth that the original (incorrect) report claimed, so I don't think we need to worry about our electricity running out due to people downloading too many videos any time soon. But, still, you should probably expect to see such arguments show up coming out of politicians in the very near future.