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Study Warns of Internet Brownouts By 2010

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the told-you-them-pipes-was-too-small dept.

The Internet 318

Bergkamp10 writes "Consumer and corporate use of the Internet could overload the current capacity and lead to brown-outs in two years unless backbone providers invest billions of dollars in new infrastructure, according to a new study. A flood of new video and other Web content could overwhelm the Net by 2010 unless backbone providers invest up to US $137 billion in new capacity, more than double what service providers plan to invest, according to the study by Nemertes Research Group. In North America alone, backbone investments of $42 billion to $55 billion will be needed in the next three to five years to keep up with demand, Nemertes said. Quoting from the study: 'Our findings indicate that although core fiber and switching/routing resources will scale nicely to support virtually any conceivable user demand, Internet access infrastructure, specifically in North America, will likely cease to be adequate for supporting demand within the next three to five years.' Internet users will create 161 exabytes of new data this year."

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yay free market (4, Insightful)

hlomas (1010351) | more than 6 years ago | (#21414937)

it will take care of itself eventually, demand for bandwidth will increase and money will be poured into infrastructure

Re:yay free market (1)

phillips321 (955784) | more than 6 years ago | (#21414977)

i think the consumer will lose out, i hate to think what contention ratios will be in the future :(

Re:yay free market (5, Insightful)

Urusai (865560) | more than 6 years ago | (#21414997)

I've already warned about this. Nobody will invest in new infrastructure in the US because the investors know the US is facing an epic economic decline, or even collapse, in the near future. We've reached peak bandwidth in the US.

Re:yay free market (5, Insightful)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415031)

Actually the capacity for the bandwidth is there, if they light the fibre up.

The article is just FUD.

Re:yay free market (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21415237)

you fail it:

"Our findings indicate that although core fiber and switching/routing resources will scale nicely to support virtually any conceivable user demand, Internet access infrastructure, specifically in North America, will likely cease to be adequate for supporting demand within the next three to five years."
so it's not just a matter of lighting up fibre. learn how to read, fuckface.

Re:yay free market (3, Insightful)

mikael (484) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415361)

The fibre is there, but what do you connect it to, if the incumbents are just standing there and keeping the door to the cable rooms locked, and not installing any new equipment?

Re:yay free market (5, Funny)

Cajun Hell (725246) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415209)

We can always invade someone and take their bandwidth.

Re:yay free market (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21415281)

^ parent needs more points i don't have any two lines was enough

Re:yay free market (5, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415283)

"We've reached peak bandwidth in the US."

let me guess your applying the same kind of phony logic as "peak oil" advocates use.

repeat after me everyone - there is no bandwidth crisis. The only thing lacking is the speed of the last mile, there's tons of fibre out there waitng to be lit up.

Re:yay free market (4, Interesting)

smilindog2000 (907665) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415535)

I hate agreeing with a guy who can't understand the simple fact that oil production will peak someday (was I missing obvious sarcasm? If so... sorry), but...

The doom and gloom Internet bandwidth projections I've read assume that many of us start sharing videos and watch on-demand HD, not cached locally with our service providers, but downloaded at random. That's a bunch of crock. Our ISPs will be quite happy to cache this data locally, easing the burden on the backbone. All we need is a few simple strategies to help enable it. I'm doing my part [sourceforge.net] . We geeks will overcome.

Re:yay free market (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415349)

Are you talking about demographic shift or some epic misunderstanding of how the world actually works?

Demographic shift will probably be a bit painful, but it isn't real likely to be a collapse, or in the near future, so you must be talking about something else.

Re:yay free market (3, Informative)

ppanon (16583) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415571)

Um, no. He's talking about the massive trade and government deficits the US has been running for the last 7 years. At some point the people who have been funding those (mainly the Chinese) may get tired of doing so. At which point, if they stop buying dollars to support the trade deficit and bonds to support the federal deficit, but instead start selling them, the dollar will be massively devalued, leading to a huge increase in the price of all imported consumer goods. Compared to 30 years ago, there's very little manufacturing that actually still creates goods in the US. Most of it has been outsourced to countries with cheap labour and poor environmental stewardship.

That will be good for your trade balance, of course, but bad for your economy since the high increase in the cost of goods will probably lead to a severe recession - people will be buying a lot less when everything suddenly costs many times more. It may take a decade or more for the US to recover. On the other hand, house prices won't seem that ridiculous anymore after 150% or more inflation, but anybody living on a fixed income, like retirees, are going to be seriously screwed.

And in case you think that isn't ever going to happen, apparently the Chinese have been making noise [nytimes.com] about shifting their ownership of foreign funds to away from currencies that have been showing recent weakness.

Of course, when the US can no longer afford to buy foreign goods, especially basic items like steel, and all their manufacturing capacity has been dismantled, why that might just be a good time for the Peep's Republic to invade Taiwan.

Re:yay free market (4, Funny)

Propaganda13 (312548) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415391)

I've already warned about this. Nobody will invest in new infrastructure in the US because the investors know the US is facing an epic economic decline, or even collapse, in the near future. We've reached peak bandwidth in the US.

I've been warning people for years too. That's why I've been stockpiling porn for years. One of these days, we just won't have enough bandwidth then these fools will come crying that they can't get enough porn to get by on. Well, I warned them.
STOCKPILE PORN NOW!

Re:yay free market (1)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415533)

Such things usually balance themselves out. The collapse will cause a reduction in demand because fewer services will be available. A lot of net hog services have yet to turn a consistent profit. Investors will shy away from anything that hasn't a proven profit record.

Re:yay free market (1)

ockegheim (808089) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415541)

Yes, I shudder to think what Iraq must be costing the US. If you have to have a war, do it well, or lose it relatively quickly, develop an anti-war stance, and become an economic superpower like Germany & Japan.

Re:yay free market (4, Interesting)

NickCatal (865805) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415015)

The money doesn't even need to be poured into infrastructure anymore. Back in the late 90s they laid so much fiber/conduits that we will be perfectly fine for quite a long time.

Add on to that the lowering cost of long-range high-speed ethernet and I'm confident that there won't be a problem nearly as fast as people want to make it seem.

What is really needed here, however, is a wider adoption of multicast and local cache technology. That is going to be very costly to do.

Re:yay free market (1)

eggoeater (704775) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415109)

You're correct about all the dark fiber out there, but lighting it up won't be cheap... the mega-routers on each end cost six figures easy. It's also worth noting that I don't think the article was talking about the actual backbone infrastructure, but rather what exists between the back bone and the last mile. ie. Verizon can run fiber to everyones' house, but I'm sure their CO doesn't have the connection speed to handle the aggregated bandwidth.

Re:yay free market (1)

evanbd (210358) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415351)

The routers to use the dark fiber, and the upgraded routers to use in-use fiber better, still count as infrastructure. And they aren't cheap. And we will need them.

Does that mean the internet is doomed? I doubt it. It's not impossible, but I'd want to see better evidence. Plenty of people have predicted the imminent death of the internet before.

No concept of traffic (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415591)

OK, Geeks understand a bit about what internet traffic is, but how many youtubers LOL types really understand? All they know is that this an almost infinite amount of internet stuff for not much cost. A bit like paying $20 per month and filling up your car as often as you want. Unlike driving a car, where they have to pay for gas, this internet stuff is intangible and usage is virtually free. Unlike using gas or electricity or roads, there is no tangible throttling mechanism. Hence, more people will continue to suck more data through the internet.

This is worse than the tragedy of the commons because at least (most) farmers understand the downside of over-grazing.

Consumption will continue to increase until there is ssome sort of cost that caps consumption and effects a feedback cycle. That feedback also needs to be something that Joe Sixpack can understand. You and I might know that youtube uses less bandwidth than full DVD quality video, but Joe Sixpack doesn't. Therefore it is going to be very difficult to use cost to temper usage.

Re:yay free market (1)

smilindog2000 (907665) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415713)

Ah... slashdot. Good, well informed technical opinions are here to be read, if you can stand wading through the crud.

What is really needed here, however, is a wider adoption of multicast and local cache technology. That is going to be very costly to do.

I couldn't agree more, except for the cost part. Good local caching will come [sourceforge.net] , and it will be free. It's my project, and likely therefore total crud, but what the heck... somebody's got to change the world :-)

Re:yay free market (1)

krycheq (836359) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415911)

Didn't Bob Metcalf [wikipedia.org] make a similar prediction a few years back and ended up eating his hat?

Given that these guys are just a front [commoncause.org] for the phone company, what are they going to have to eat when they use this as an excuse for not delivering the bandwidth to homes that others in places like Japan enjoy?

Typo (1)

DrYak (748999) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415049)

and money will be poured into the telecomunication companies' pockets


Here, fixed it for you.

Re:yay free market (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21415059)

What drugs are you on?

Demand for bandwidth is already increasing, and instead of pouring their outrageous profits into building out the infrastructure to meet demand, the telecoms are throttling throughput on bandwidth-hungry services and trying to break out their service into tiers to squeeze more money out of their existing wires.

Re:yay free market (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21415095)

demand for bandwidth will increase and money will be poured into infrastructure

Why? Why spend $137 billion to upgrade infrastructure just to keep up, when they could just spend $0, and use the weak infrastructure to justify collecting extra money from google, amazon, itunes, etc.

Re:yay free market (1)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415629)

My prediction: The telecoms will use the weak infrastructure to justify bandwidth rationing, i.e. blocking P2P traffic.

Re:yay free market (1)

MrYotsuya (27522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415717)

With the effective monopolies in many markets, and the removal of equal access provisions by the FCC, it's more likely that the supply will be constrained artificially, making bandwidth more expensive. I'd be cheering too, if I were a shareholder.

Re:yay free market (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415759)

it will take care of itself eventually, demand for bandwidth will increase and money will be poured into infrastructure
Indeed. Perhaps it will only be the USA that "browns out"? It seems that America is years behind even small obscure European countries, and even some so-called "third world" counties.

Always remember that competition improves service and reduces cost. Right? Right? So we have no competition, obviously. Comcast may disagree.

Re:yay free market (0, Troll)

professional_troll (1178701) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415863)

Until the sand niggers suicide bomb the root servers

biatches (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21414939)

A few years ago, while browsing around the library downtown, I had to take a piss. As I entered the john a big beautiful all-American football hero type, about twenty-five, came out of one of the booths. I stood at the urinal looking at him out of the corner of my eye as he washed his hands. He didn't once look at me. He was "straight" and married - and in any case I was sure I wouldn't have a chance with him. As soon as he left I darted into the booth he'd vacated, hoping there might be a lingering smell of shit and even a seat still warm from his sturdy young ass. I found not only the smell but the shit itself. He'd forgotten to flush. And what a treasure he had left behind. Three or four beautiful specimens floated in the bowl. It apparently had been a fairly dry, constipated shit, for all were fat, stiff, and ruggedly textured. The real prize was a great feast of turd - a nine inch gastrointestinal triumph as thick as a man's wrist. I knelt before the bowl, inhaling the rich brown fragrance and wondered if I should obey the impulse building up inside me. I'd always been a heavy rimmer and had lapped up more than one little clump of shit, but that had been just an inevitable part of eating ass and not an end in itself. Of course I'd had jerk-off fantasies of devouring great loads of it (what rimmer hasn't), but I had never done it. Now, here I was, confronted with the most beautiful five-pound turd I'd ever feasted my eyes on, a sausage fit to star in any fantasy and one I knew to have been hatched from the asshole of the world's handsomest young stud. Why not? I plucked it from the bowl, holding it with both hands to keep it from breaking. I lifted it to my nose. It smelled like rich, ripe limburger (horrid, but thrilling), yet had the consistency of cheddar. What is cheese anyway but milk turning to shit without the benefit of a digestive tract? I gave it a lick and found that it tasted better then it smelled. I've found since then that shit nearly almost does. I hesitated no longer. I shoved the fucking thing as far into my mouth as I could get it and sucked on it like a big brown cock, beating my meat like a madman. I wanted to completely engulf it and bit off a large chunk, flooding my mouth with the intense, bittersweet flavor. To my delight I found that while the water in the bowl had chilled the outside of the turd, it was still warm inside. As I chewed I discovered that it was filled with hard little bits of something I soon identified as peanuts. He hadn't chewed them carefully and they'd passed through his body virtually unchanged. I ate it greedily, sending lump after peanutty lump sliding scratchily down my throat. My only regret was the donor of this feast wasn't there to wash it down with his piss. I soon reached a terrific climax. I caught my cum in the cupped palm of my hand and drank it down. Believe me, there is no more delightful combination of flavors than the hot sweetness of cum with the rich bitterness of shit. Afterwards I was sorry that I hadn't made it last longer. But then I realized that I still had a lot of fun in store for me. There was still a clutch of virile turds left in the bowl. I tenderly fished them out, rolled them into my handkerchief, and stashed them in my briefcase. In the week to come I found all kinds of ways to eat the shit without bolting it right down. Once eaten it's gone forever unless you want to filch it third hand out of your own asshole. Not an unreasonable recourse in moments of desperation or simple boredom. I stored the turds in the refrigerator when I was not using them but within a week they were all gone. The last one I held in my mouth without chewing, letting it slowly dissolve. I had liquid shit trickling down my throat for nearly four hours. I must have had six orgasms in the process. I often think of that lovely young guy dropping solid gold out of his sweet, pink asshole every day, never knowing what joy it could, and at least once did, bring to a grateful shiteater.

I hate life! (-1, Troll)

1337 Apple Zealot (720421) | more than 6 years ago | (#21414959)

2000, 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07 and 08 are the years of Linux on the desktop! Wikipedia admins take it up the ass on wheels! 2,100,000 articles and they delete articles like Norman Walsh ,Rubbish King of the Jumble, Gay Nigger Associaton of America and Yu-Gi-Oh the Abridged series! You nerds fucking discust me! I am an overweight fat bastard with no girlfriend and dropped out of college! I hate slashdot! This is my last post!

Don't do it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21415293)

You have plenty of reasons to live...one would assume.

Re:I hate life! (1, Troll)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415319)

You nerds -- discust me!
It's disgust.
Begone and take your IE with you.

TCP/IP protocols? (2, Interesting)

or-switch (1118153) | more than 6 years ago | (#21414963)

A while back I read about different options for internet communications protocols that were much more efficient than the current protocols. I think the early research showed you could get a HUGE scale-up in data transmission rates using conventional hardware if the protocol was altered. That was several years ago and the same protocols are still being used. Getting a large number of vendors/users/software/etc. to change off of an inefficient protocol for a better one is very difficult, but maybe it's less expensive than upgrading the worldwide internet? I wonder how much bandwidth we'd get back if spam was stopped somehow. Hmm.

Re:TCP/IP protocols? (2, Interesting)

LBArrettAnderson (655246) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415141)

Eliminating spam somehow probably wouldn't solve much. How many spam e-mails do you get per day? Let's be generous and say that on average you get 1000 spam e-mails per day. How many minutes of video on average (per day) are watched by internet users? I don't have any exact numbers, but I know some people who watch hours of video per day, but the majority of people do not watch any. Let's settle on 3 minutes. Factor in websites, video gaming, VOIP, business VPN, FTP, everything else... 1000 e-mails equates to maybe 3MB of data per day (most of my spam comes in plain text... then again I haven't looked at them in quite some time). So you're looking at 10-15% max. Even if it were 50% it wouldn't change much (it would shift the timeline a few months). These internet backbone "problems" (I personally don't believe anything is going to happen... but let's pretend that they are right) are caused by a very very steep increase in internet usage per year. The amount of data transfered goes up exponentially every year. A few years ago I heard that it doubles every 9 months... I'm not sure if that's still the case... I wouldn't be too surprised if it's rising even faster than that due to the recent increase in video watching, but then again the internet is becoming somewhat mature, so eventually the growth should slow down (not any time soon... but perhaps after we're all streaming HD videos 24/7 to 20 different locations in our homes there will be a peak somewhere...).

Re:TCP/IP protocols? (0)

UnrefinedLayman (185512) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415645)

How many minutes of video on average (per day) are watched by internet users? I don't have any exact numbers, but I know some people who watch hours of video per day, but the majority of people do not watch any. Let's settle on 3 minutes.
So what you're saying is, "You're wrong and here's why: let x equal a number I've just made up, and let y equal a number I've just made up that is < x. Therefore x > y, therefore you're wrong. QED."

Re:TCP/IP protocols? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21415559)

In a word: no.

TCP does cause an inability to attain the full transfer rate of the medium, but this only refers to individual connections between individual nodes over lines with high bandwidth and relatively high latency. However the current protocols work just fine when what you're concerned about is sharing that bandwidth between a large number of nodes, which is what all of the high speed connections are actually doing.

virtually any conceivable user demand (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21414973)

Then why do i get yelled at if i use my puny 10 mb download that my ISP advertises?

Re:virtually any conceivable user demand (1)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415007)

Because you're overloading the 10 Base-T hub they're using to provide access to you and everyone else! The collisions! Oh the humanity!

Re:virtually any conceivable user demand (1)

Paul Pierce (739303) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415077)

Then why do i get yelled at if i use my puny 10 mb download that my ISP advertises?
Because you aren't supposed to actually use it, just pay for it. You are supposed to be happy knowing that you have 10mb in case you need it.

They want you to buy a new sofa, but if you lie down on it then they aren't able to share the rest of it with your neighbors - shame on you.

Just throttle the biggest content--Oh, wait. (3, Interesting)

Sowelu (713889) | more than 6 years ago | (#21414985)

I don't know if I'm trolling or joking or what, but I'm in the unfortunate position of saying: If people start seeing brownouts because there's too much video on the 'net, I'll happily switch to a service that throttles the heck out of your content as long as I can still use my low-bandwidth telnet stuff. Does that mean I'm supporting or opposing network neutrality? I don't even know anymore.

Re:Just throttle the biggest content--Oh, wait. (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415055)

ah you don't understand network neutraility. the traffic that gets throttled would not only be non(comcast/time warner/ISP) traffic including your telnet so they can increase the bandwidth to thier video service from which they will charge extra fees. including only windows DRM.(see BBC's iPlayer)

Re:Just throttle the biggest content--Oh, wait. (4, Informative)

WK2 (1072560) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415205)

Does that mean I'm supporting or opposing network neutrality?

Neither. You support QOS. QOS is throttling based on protocol/bandwidth/latency needs. Neutrality is under attack when ISP's throttle or block based on content/source. Sometimes the line between QOS and Neutrality is blurry, but your example is clearly QOS.

Re:Just throttle the biggest content--Oh, wait. (4, Insightful)

homer_ca (144738) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415329)

Correct. An example of QOS would be prioritizing all VoIP packets. Non-net-neutrality would be prioritizing the packets of the ISP's own VoIP service and degrading a competitor's VoIP traffic (say to Vonage). This article sounds like more fear mongering to promote a tiered Internet, i.e. non-neutral Internet.

Re:Just throttle the biggest content--Oh, wait. (1)

evanbd (210358) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415375)

As long as it's very clear to the customers what will or won't be throttled, and there exist options that treat all traffic equally, and things are priced competitively, I'm fine with throttled options existing. If it's cheaper to serve people throttled connections, and some people would rather pay for that, then by all means, serve those connections. If we start running into a bandwidth crunch, prices *should* go up as the basic form of rationing. I'll figure out what type of connection I want when I get there...

Re:Just throttle the biggest content--Oh, wait. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21415377)

You mean porn?

Re:Just throttle the biggest content--Oh, wait. (1)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415481)

Can't we just throttle the spammers?

Three things to consider (2, Interesting)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415005)

1. For Net users in the Americas and Europe, it would be fairly easy to establish bridge portals to not include Africa and Asia and solve the whole problem.

2. For Net users beyond the Americas and Europe, going to IPv6 would solve this problem - and installing throttle content managers to bridge the gap.

3. Just because you can link all devices to the Net, doesn't mean you have to.

Re:Three things to consider (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21415213)

For once, the story isn't about an imminent shortage of IPv4 address space, but about a lack of fast last mile broadband access.

Re:Three things to consider (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415427)

Just because you can link all devices to the Net, doesn't mean you have to.

Tell that to my washing machine and toaster. They'll get lonely when I'm away and will want someone to talk too. So when they send you an IM, please be nice and respond back ok? And while your at it, think of the potentially billions of devices that get lonely too!

Please, don't snuff them out with IP4. Give them a voice by supporting IP6!

Oh ya, almost forgot... Next time you hear from that chrome covered slotted bitch, tell it not to burn my toast. I HATE THAT!

Re:Three things to consider (1)

loftwyr (36717) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415613)

3-2. Place more infrastructure in Europe and elsewhere that bypasses North America. It's only the US bottleneck [isoc.org] that's going to be a problem.

Computer License! (1)

morari (1080535) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415011)

To help decrease usage, we should implement a licensing system to own and operate a PC. You would be put through two or three week long course that explains the basic functionality of the machine, as well as how to protect yourself while online (from viruses, not sexual predators!). Registration fees would mostly go toward the nationalized (though publicly run) servers and broadband-for-all initiative.

Re:Computer License! (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415067)

It would have to free forced used of M$ and other vendor lock ins for any even a little like that to work.

Re:Computer License! (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415119)

DIAF, Statist.

Re:Computer License! (1)

lord_sarpedon (917201) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415245)

In a world without government incompetence and corruption, that would be an excellent idea.

I can only imagine how painful a government computer-safety course would be for us geeks. Think of the blatant ads for security products in exchange for 'donations' or 'contributions', and an entire unit of thinkofthechildren nonsense. Think of a course which says that the only way to properly use the internet is with Windows 7 and Internet Explorer.

I was about to say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21415019)

"Pfft that's atleast 10 years away"

But it isn't. I am now old. I'll be at the bar, don't come looking for me.

This study brought to you by... (5, Insightful)

Starteck81 (917280) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415023)

... your local monopoly telco. I wouldn't be surprised if Verizon, AA&T and their ilk paid for this study so they could go cry to congress about needing more subsidies so the internet doesn't "brownout".

Re:This study brought to you by... (1)

renbear (49318) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415133)

YES! Exactly! I would love to find out who funded this study.

I've worked for telcos (CLECs) and ISPs. Bandwidth is not truly a scarce commodity, and yet the telcos charge through the nose for it, supported by the regulatory agencies.

Light up the dark fiber, use more efficient transmission methods... and while you're at it, modernize bandwidth prices that were set back in the stone age!

Re:This study brought to you by... (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415469)

and while you're at it, modernize bandwidth prices that were set back in the stone age!

      Be careful what you wish for. The telco's ideas of a "modern bandwidth price" is probably not LESS than what they charge today ;)

Dark Fiber (1)

excelblue (739986) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415029)

What about all the dark fiber that's already there? There's plenty to go around. They'll just have to activate the infrastructure that they already have instead of building new infrastructure.

But How Much of it is Duped? (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415037)

"Internet users will create 161 exabytes of new data this year."

"New"? I haven't seen anything remotely "new" on the internet in years.

What about improving the way the internet works (3, Interesting)

urinetrouble (809485) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415043)

http://mr.caltech.edu/media/Press_Releases/PR12356.html [caltech.edu]

From an article in discover magazine: [discovermagazine.com]

John Doyle is worried about the Internet. In the next few years, millions more people will gain access to it, and existing users will place ever higher demands on our digital infrastructure, driven by applications like online movie services and Internet telephony. Doyle predicts that this skyrocketing traffic could cause the Internet to slow to a disastrous crawl, an endless digital gridlock stifling our economies. But Doyle, a professor of control and dynamic systems, electrical engineering, and bioengineering at Caltech, also believes the Internet can be saved. He and his colleagues have created a theory that has revealed some simple yet powerful ways to accelerate the flow of information. Vastly accelerate the flow: Doyle and his colleagues can now blast the entire text of all the books in the library of Congress across the United States in 15 minutes.

I haven't actually read the whole article in a while but from what it seems, this guy has a pretty good solution to this whole problem that I don't see discussed a lot.

Re:What about improving the way the internet works (1)

evanbd (210358) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415417)

One thing that few of these sorts of plans fail to discuss: is it actually cheaper? I really don't care whether the internet operates at 50% efficiency, 90% efficiency, or 20% efficiency -- all I care about is what the cheapest way to move a given number of bits is. If that's to build excess capacity, and run simple software on simple but fast routers, and only utilize the raw bandwidth at 50%, that's fine by me if it costs less than building the same network at 100% usage and half the raw bandwidth. It's obvious we can do better on the protocols, but what does that cost in terms of added router CPU power, memory, electricity consumption, etc?

New technologies (1)

iamacat (583406) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415053)

It's not necessarily the raw Internet capacity that has to increase. New video and audio compression algorithms could dramatically reduce the bandwidth necessary for carrying the same. Protocols like BitTorrent naturally transfer most of the data through currently uncongested connections. Development and even implementation of such standards does not necessarily cost billions of dollars.

Now it's granted that we'll probably come up with some new and creative ways to use up the bandwidth such as realtime 3D video-conferencing.

Bandwidth "brownouts" are nothing new (5, Informative)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415061)

The most glaring one I can remember was on the morning of September 11, 2001, but its not the only one that has occurred, and undoubtedly won't be the last. Also, the same thing happens with any other limited communications service (POTS systems can be -- and have been -- overloaded during major events!), and with (and where we get the name) electrical grids.

So, yeah, by 2010, internet brownouts "might" happen. They already do happen. And we all survive.

Aside from pushing a meaningles scary buzzword ("exaflood"), this is an unsurprising study by a largely telecom-industry-funded lobbying group favoring tiered internet services and other telecom-friendly policy that, surprise of surprises, finds that with the current, mostly-neutral internet, the whole system is about to collapse, and it will be used to sell the idea that we have to abandon that model, let telecoms charge additional fees to get data delivered even though they already charge each end for every byte transferred, etc.

Re:Bandwidth "brownouts" are nothing new (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415461)

The most glaring one I can remember was on the morning of September 11, 2001,

      Heh, there was an internet brown out? Good thing I missed it. Or considering the fact that I watched the world trade center fall from a bed in intensive care, maybe not.

More alarmist bullshit (4, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415065)

Bet you 10 slashbucks if you do some research behind where this study came from, it is companies who claim to have the fix for this.

I highly doubt the Internet is headed for a meltdown because, funny thing, as usage grows so does available bandwidth. Turns out that we can activate more fibre connections, we can upgrade to new, faster technologies, etc. I'm quite sure the Internet of 1997 would have ground to a near total halt were it subjected to today's traffic. However turns out we aren't dealing with that Internet, ours is faster, better.

I also hate when people throw out bullshit numbers of how much something will cost to fix. Ok well that might be impressive assuming we weren't spending anything now. But we are. Companies are investing in new infrastructure all the time (I know we are where I work). If it is insufficient, ok, but let's not pretend that there is no development going on and all of a sudden we have to find a big wodge of cash.

If it comes down to it, and there's more demand than supply and supply is too expensive to grow based on current pricing know what happens? No not a melt down, but that magic shit you learned back in Econ 200: Prices will rise such that demand will match supply. Of course those rising prices will give more money to upgrade supply and so on.

In reality I imagine things will go just fine. As far as I can tell bandwidth is getting cheaper at the high end, and supply is mostly limited by demand. As there's more demand for it, the infrastructure necessary for it will be purchased.

Re:More alarmist bullshit (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415101)

Bet you 10 slashbucks if you do some research behind where this study came from, it is companies who claim to have the fix for this.


Its from an lobbying group whose pushing a tiered internet and other telecom-friendly government policy as the solution; so its not the "we have a product that is a solution" type of thing, but essentially the political equivalent.

internet phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21415193)

I remember this exact same story ten years ago when internet phones were just hitting the market. Agreed - more alarmist bs.

Re:More alarmist bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21415227)

Prices will rise such that demand will match supply.

Yes.

Of course those rising prices will give more money to upgrade supply and so on.

No. Why? Because there's more profit to be had in charging more and more to drink from a little straw than to pay out billions to get a bigger straw. It's not like anyone's going to go up to a bank and get a check for the trillions of dollars it would take to create a serious competitor to the internet.

Re:More alarmist bullshit (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415437)

It's not like anyone's going to go up to a bank and get a check for the trillions of dollars it would take to create a serious competitor to the internet.

      They said the same thing about the railroads too at one point. You don't know what the future will bring. Who would have imagined a world covered in asphalt and a car for ever person, 200 years ago - when it was your feet, a horse, or a train? How many trillions have been spent on motor vehicles and all the infrastructure to support them, worldwide? Never say never!

Re:More alarmist bullshit (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415415)

I highly doubt the Internet is headed for a meltdown because, funny thing, as usage grows so does available bandwidth

      I agree. I think it was only a couple weeks ago that there was a story on here about some Australian figuring out how to get a 100 to 200 TIMES faster throughput on an ADSL line. I'm too lazy to dig it up. But "Necessity is the mother of Invention" applies to the intertubes, too.

There's an easy fix! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21415075)

Abolish net neutrality!


That'll fix OUR little red wagon for getting online!

quick and certain, the solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21415085)

What steals the capacity? Spam. Why should I spend my millions building capacity when it is then consumed by spammers?

When word gets out that a few spammers are doing 30 years hard time the capacity needs issue will resolve itself.

Why does spending level off ? (4, Insightful)

mbone (558574) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415087)

I must admit, my BS detector went off when I heard of this study. In my experience. the Internet backbones tend to be in the best shape, even in the US, and the most straightforward to extend. Our troubles tend to be on the edge.

While, I cannot find any real problems in a quick read, people should look at FIGURE 7: GLOBAL INCREMENTAL OPTICAL INVESTMENT, where the investment peaks in 2008 after exponential growth in both spending, capacity and use. It is not too surprising that a couple of years of exponential growth in usage later, and with flat spending, they predict problems. The real question to me is, how realistic is that that investment will peak next year ? I must admit that this sounds dubious to me.

Re:Why does spending level off ? (1)

ppanon (16583) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415837)

One way to look at that paper is that it's blackmail from the telco's that funded this story. Give us what we want in a legal framework, or we stop developing the infrastructure and let growth in demand overrun capacity. That's capitaloterrorism®.

On the other hand, the telcos may have overbuilt capacity so much for a while that the excess capacity drove down prices to the point where they couldn't recoup their investment. What happened is that they countered that by severely oversubscribing backbone bandwidth compared to what they provided the customer. There's now a demographic change happening in customer use resulting in the customers exceeding their expected use.

If the latter case is what's happening, then the right way to fix it is to "let the brownouts happen" by capping a 10 minute rolling average of available bandwidth for all types of traffic at the correct fraction of the subscribed data rates, not by blocking specific types of traffic (chosen by the telco and which just happen to compete with some of their other services). That will encourage people to pay more for a certain level of guaranteed bandwidth from providers who don't oversubscribe their bandwidth as much. The result will be more cash available to pay for backbone upgrades up the line if that's necessary. Most importantly, if the telcos don't get their pet legislation enacted, this is what will happen if they really do have a cash problem. It requires a little more smarts on their customer interface units, but probably nothing a remote firmware upgrade couldn't handle.

For once, this is a problem which really can just be solved by market forces instead of needing to break a successful 30 year paradigm.

REPENT! The end is nigh!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21415093)

REPENT! REPENT! The end is nigh!! REPENT!

We're going to run out of bits! It's peak oil^H^H^H bits! AAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!

Women and pr0n to the lifeboats!!!!!! AAAAHHHHH!

Relative costs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21415099)

Unfortunately, it is a fraction (around 25%) of what we spend on other things. [nationalpriorities.org]

Sounds like anti-neutrality FUD to me (4, Insightful)

niola (74324) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415127)

Some of the points made in this report seem to eerily echo the talking points of the big comm companies against neutrality, and for allowing them to tier pricing.

If you recall they said in the past that video is using up a substantial percentage of the bandwidth and that unless they can charge the big users more (ie Google, Youtube, etc) that they won't be able to upgrade the infrastructure to keep up.

Re:Sounds like anti-neutrality FUD to me (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415397)

They should be careful, because some of the "big users" you cited will soon be able to afford to buy some of these "telcos".

I've been raised to believe (1)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415175)

that in the future, all problems will be solved by the people of the future!

Been hearing this since 1996 (4, Interesting)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415177)

The collapse of the infrastructure is like the end of Moore's Law--always a couple years over the horizon.

As a general practice, I ignore any news story that relies upon "could", "may", "might" or "possibly" in its central premise. It always means that another lazy journalist is being willingly spoonfed a story by a PR flack.

Re:Been hearing this since (long before) 1996 (1)

vanyel (28049) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415413)

"Imminent Death of the Net" has been a joke since the 80's: "it'll take more than a day to transfer a day's worth of USENET with 1200 bps modems!", then 2400 baud modems came out, etc. The more things change, the more they stay the same... Fortunately, data transmission is a highly parallelizable operation, and if people want to pay for it, they'll get it...

Didn't we give the telcos money for this? (4, Interesting)

Unlikely_Hero (900172) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415183)

Well telcos, I guess you have to upgrade the network now like you promised for the tax cuts clinton gave you between 1996 and 2000! What was it? 200 billion?

This is the telcos fault, screw them.

yeah right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21415189)

Internet users will create 161 exabytes of new data this year."

160 of which will be porn.

exchange rate (5, Funny)

oliphaunt (124016) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415325)

US $137 billion. how much is that in hard currency, like 500 Euros?

Buy buy buy (1)

krray (605395) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415431)

Who do I think has the stock pile of unused bandwidth capabilities and the funds / know-how on coming up with some alternative last-mile options? My end of year 2007 prediction: Google comes out with a flying blimp last mile wireless option. They may even be in line to have a chunk of the wireless spectrum, who knows? :) Currently I'm paying $55 for a wireless 10Mbit (synchronous) option that runs in the 5Ghz range (and yes, +900K/sec is the norm). What if Google comes along and can offer $80 45Mbit capabilities? -SOLD- They could also offer 10Mbit for $35, 5Mbit for $19.95, and what-not.

Mental note: buy more goog (and to clarify: I do already own personally and independently purchased Google stock. Not a lot. Some... Buy if you want, sell if you must. I do not work for Google. :)

Move along... (1)

careysb (566113) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415439)

FUD

There is actually a surplus of capacity (2, Interesting)

viking80 (697716) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415467)

I am sure there is a lot of poor equipment that needs to be upgraded, but otherwise this sounds more like ISP crying that they need more revenue.

Backbone fiber: the fiber cables contain 768 non-dispersion shifted cable. This, and the last mile, is the big and expensive part of the network. Each of these fibers can, with end equipment upgrade, carry at least 10Gb * 135 colors = 1.35Tb, so the cable carries 1Eb/s.
Now, an x264 encoded HD video is 50mb/s, so this cable will carry 20 million HD channels.
(So one cable covers northern california. There are at least three)

A 40GB edge router can support about 1k users, and costs $10k. Thats $100/user. Estimate the same cost /Mb for the core. Factoring 5 year lifetime on equipment you end up with $4/user/month for 50Mb/s.

My house is already connected with fiber(GB Ethernet choked down to a few Mb/s) , and you can probably (soon) get 50Mb/s over DSL, so the last mile cost is at least incremental, and probably similar to the above estimate of $4, so the urban part of us should get it for $8 + ISP profit and administrative cost.

So $10/month for 50Mb/s should be the cost to support this upgrade.

Intersludge (1)

yakumo.unr (833476) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415543)

Well that's seemed pretty obvious browsing various sites and using various services because....

oo, hang on actually, I was about to say they all seem so slow, oversubscribed, but these days you have to flip a coin to try and decide if a site or service is flooded out, or you're just being crippled by your own ISP.

Either way things really aren't looking too good are they.

Totally bogus. (1)

Freerefill (1191547) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415557)

I really don't need to point this out.. The Internet is a single entity as much as it is a big truck that you just dump something on. You do not simply put $150 billion into "The Internet" and rewire it. Here's how it always has and always will go down: 1: Server X is created using inexpensive technology 2: Time passes 3: Server X gains popularity/encounters increased bandwidth demand 4: Server X purchases expensive/modern technology 5: Server X meets bandwidth demand GOTO 2 Now, I can see that if some really bored nutsack thought it would be cool to sit down and project the total amount of money that will be poured into the purchase of fibre optic cable and spankin' new servers over the next 3 years in order to meet the projected bandwidth demands, they might come up with a global figure of $150 bil. But there is no one entity that will foot that bill. There is no one infrastructure that will receive that one massive upgrade. Newgrounds will probably buy another server, but Homestar Runner seems to work fine. Amazon and Ebay may want to grab another, maybe Tripod will see an explosion of growth. Little by little it'll add up, and hundreds if not hundreds of thousands of (relatively) tiny systems will be upgraded with the passing of time to meet the gradually increasing bandwidth demand. To say that the Internet is going to brownout at any time in the near future is like saying that the world is going to run out of hard drive space because everyone's personal computers and laptops are downloading an increasing amount of porn. It then goes on to assume that one person is going to buy new computers for everyone en masse with one massive check at one single point in time. While I would love to get a new laptop and have some disgustingly rich schmuck foot the bill, it's simply not going to happen like that.

161 exabytes?! (1)

Mendenhall (32321) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415661)

this seems a bit steep! With 6 billion people in the world, this is >25 GB for every man, woman and child on the planet. Per year! I doubt the average is even close to that.

Re:161 exabytes?! (1)

ehlo (578765) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415879)

Yes, and 25gb over a year is 68mb per day.
Take into consideration automated software updates, such as windows and antivirus definitions.
Streaming audio.
Streaming video, like youtube. Do you actually know how much bandwidth youre using in a half an hour on youtube?
Casual browsing.
Movie previews.
I mean, people use the internet for _everything_.
SPAM! Whats the average spam message size, 10-40k?
How many do _you_ recieve every day?
The list is endless.

Im not even going to go into how much of those 161 exabytes is from p2p and torrents.
A lot of people either download or stream their favorite tv episodes.
I watch the simpsons, family guy, american dad, heroes, prison break and lost religiously.
Thats fox on demand, nbc video, etc streaming. They show good quality, even though i doubt the files are 350mb like the torrents are, theyre atleast 200. So just watching my tv shows every day, I musing atleast _three_ times my daily allocated bandwidth.

Are you starting to see my point..?

Bogus estimate of amount of Video creation? (2, Interesting)

termigan (118387) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415723)

Did anyone else blink an eye at TFA's estimate of how much data CREATED this year? From TFA:

Internet users will create 161 exabytes of new data this year, and this exaflood is a positive development for Internet users and businesses, IIA says. An exabyte is 1 quintillion bytes or about 1.1 billion gigabytes. One exabyte is the equivalent of about 50,000 years of DVD quality video.

So, 70.5E9 Hours of video? So, 1 billion people each created 70.5 hours of video worth of data? That's pretty impressive, to the extent that I question the 161 Exabyte figure for internet users. If they include scientific data collection, I'd buy that number, but that doesn't effect our internet; have their own internet, internet 2. Anyone else have a way to explain the data creation figure they quote?

supply and demand (1)

ehlo (578765) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415751)

As many of the comments point out, this is a question mainly of supply and demand.

It seems there are already fibre cables that can be activated at need, and this seems to be the case in Stockholm at the moment.
About a year ago, BBB (bredbandsbolaget, literally the broadband company) upgraded all of their customers from 10 to 100mbit.

It was reported in the newspaper the other day that BBB will now be offering 1GBPS, and it suggested that the technology and capability has been around for quite some time, but that they did not feel the market was mature enough for it to be economically viable - no demand - high supply = high price per unit to meet economies of scale (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economies_of_scale).

Theyre starting off slow, last week two apartment buildings were connected to try it, and they say it plans to be implemented fully by 2010.

Im _really_ not an expert in the area, but a lot of users point out theoretical scenarios that illustrate that when the demand arrives, more broadband will be rolled out.

This seems to be exactly whats happening in Sweden.

mod do3n (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21415757)

fil3d countersuiYt,

Shut down youtube and google video, problem solved (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21415865)

Just kill youtube and google video, the problem is solved already. The kind of shit on these two sites isn't worth anyone's time.

Zombie b/w? (1)

mattr (78516) | more than 6 years ago | (#21415899)

Much of the issue is likely invented by operators who want to own more of the pie and feel little responsibility to reducing their ROI by switching dark fiber on. Also the term "brownout" is cute since obviously there is no such thing, you get collisions and throttling but the routers don't explode usually.

However I am curious about how much bandwidth is eaten by:
- Spam
- Advertising
- Zombie communications and DDoS

Also, bandwidth availability, congestion and capacity need to be examined with respect to net segment, time, directionality and efficiency. It has to be mentioned whether last mile networks or cross-country lines are what is nearing capacity, and the study should mention competitiveness to other countries compared to which the updated investment forecast is still pitiful. The market may be sufficient for some things but the network infrastructure needs to grow much faster than that, in order to support innovation and business development.
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