War for the Web
14 05.12

The Broadband Crunch

There’s a great feature on Ars Technica this week about data, and more importantly how data moves. Broadband makes the Internet work; physical cables, physical wires that connect servers and computers all over the globe are the backbone of the Internet globally. Installing these cables is expensive; maintaining them is expensive. So what happens when the cables we have no longer carry enough traffic to support our growing data habits?

That’s an important question that a lot of people are working on, but some of the information is pretty staggering. It’s estimated that by 2015, the top end of data users will be downloading almost a terabyte of traffic per month. Consider for a second now bandwidth caps on consumer data plans. Most companies limit data consumption to about 250 gb a month, but as more and more people come online, and more and more people use more and more data, that could be the amount of information we consume in a week.

Now, this issue is being worked on at the business level. Lots of innovation is taking place to increase the capacity of existing infrastructure, and more infrastructure is being built to accommodate increasing demand. But at this point it’s a race, and with a squeeze coming up you can bet that the real losers will be consumers and their cost of access to the Internet.

Check out the Ars article here. Also check out Cisco’s Visual Networking Index for predictions about future data usage growth.

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