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Growth of Traffic on the Internet





Traffic on the Internet
   
Monthly estimates are expressed in petabytes (one million gigabytes) given in a range
   
year
petabytes per month
   
1990
.001
1991
.002
1992
.004
1993
.008
1994
.016
1995
0.15
1996
1.5
1997
2.5-4
1998
5-8
1999
10-16
2000
20-35
2001
40-70
2002
80-140
2003
130-210
2004
200-300
2005
300-500
2006
450-800

 

Estimates by Andrew Odlyzko, director of the University of Minnesota’s Digital Technology Center


Conclusion:

The annual rate of increase is slowing. In the mid 1990s, internet traffic sometimes doubled every 100 days. Now it is growing by 50% in a year.

The decrease in rate of growth is due to the fact that computer speed is not growing as fast as previously and that part of the population is resistant to computers. Real Internet growth - numbers of users, websites, and services - is below 50% a year. The overall numbers are influenced by the increasing traffic in video files on the Internet, which increase traffic per user. This has inspired a debate in Congress on “net neutrality”, which means charging all users the same. The wireless companies want to charge heavy users more. An argument for “net neutrality” is the fact that there is still excess capacity in the fiber-optic networks installed in the 1990s.

Andrew Odlyzko of the University of Minnesota’s Digital Technology Center has estimated worldwide traffic from statistics gathered by 100 Internet Exchanges around the world, accounting for about 10% of the world’s traffic. It’s a difficult task considering that most telecommunications companies do not disclose their traffic to the public.

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