After studying traffic growth predictions and plans to increase capacity, Nemertes predicts that the Internet will start to seem pokey as early as 2010, as use of interactive and video-intensive services overwhelms local cable, phone and wireless Internet providers. The findings were embraced by the Internet Innovation Alliance (IIA), a tech industry and public interest coalition that advocates tax and spending policies that favor investments in Web capacity. “We’re not trying to play Paul Revere and say that the Internet’s going to fall,” says IIA co-Chairman Larry Irving. “If we make the investments we need, then people will have the Internet experience that they want and deserve.” Nemertes says that the bottleneck will be where Internet traffic goes to the home from cable companies’ coaxial cable lines and the copper wires that phone companies use for DSL. Cable and phone companies provide broadband to 60.2 million homes, accounting for about 94% of the market, according to Leichtman Research Group. To avoid a slowdown, these companies, and increasingly, wireless services providers in North America, must invest up to $55 billion, Nemertes says. That’s almost 70% more than planned. Much of that is needed for costly running of new high-capacity lines. Verizon is replacing copper lines with fiber optic for its FiOS service, which has 1.3 million Internet subscribers. Johnson says that cable operators, with 32.6 million broadband customers, also must upgrade. Most of their Internet resources now are devoted to sending data to users â€” not users sending data. They’ll need more capacity for the latter as more people transmit homemade music, photos and videos.