Internet capacity utilization: road hogs and traffic jams

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From the NY Times: Video Road Hogs Stir Fear of Internet Traffic Jam

There are some nice quotes by my colleague and co-author Andrew Odlyzko. Internet traffic growth is estimated at 50% a year, which is still very large, but one suspects that percentage growth will continue to slow as saturation is reached for various internet markets. We continue to march up an S-shaped curve, exponential growth does not continue forever. The ability to use cable or wireless bandwidth more efficiently, and to expand capacity is huge, even assuming no major technological advances. One wishes transportation networks had similar flexibility.

The other point to be noted is the continuing use of transportation metaphors (road hog and traffic jam) to describe the internet. Transportation metaphors provide a way to connect readers with the subject, but we should not go too far down the road of employing metaphors when a direct description of the technology will do.

1 Comment

Very interesting read. I wonder how long until the entire world is online?

David Levinson

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This page contains a single entry by David Levinson published on March 13, 2008 8:30 PM.

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