Internet Interrupted: Why Architectural Limitations Will Fracture the 'Net

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May 1, 2009

In 2007, Nemertes Research conducted the first-ever study to independently model Internet and IP infrastructure (which we call "capacity") and current and projected traffic (which we call "demand") with the goal of evaluating how each changes over time. In that study, we concluded that if current trends were to continue, demand would outstrip capacity before 2012. Specifically, access bandwidth limitations will throttle back innovation, as users become increasingly frustrated with their ability to run sophisticated applications over primitive access infrastructure. This year, we revisit our original study, update the data and our model, and extend the study to look beyond physical bandwidth issues to assess the impact of potential logical constraints. Our conclusion? The situation is worse than originally thought!

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