A CNET article reports that, at a recent forum in London Jim Cicconi, VP of legislative affairs for AT&T, warned that the current systems that constitute the Internet will not be able to cope with the increasing amounts of video and user-generated content being uploaded.
“The surge in online content is at the center of the most dramatic changes affecting the Internet today,” he said. “In three years’ time, 20 typical households will generate more traffic than the entire Internet today.”
From the article:
Cicconi, who was speaking at the event as part of a wider series of meetings with
U.K. government officials, said that at least $55 billion worth of investment was
needed in new infrastructure in the next three years in the U.S. alone, with the
figure rising to $130 billion to improve the network worldwide. “We are going to be
butting up against the physical capacity of the Internet by 2010,” he said.
He claimed that the “unprecedented new wave of broadband traffic” would increase
50-fold by 2015 and that AT&T is investing $19 billion to maintain its network and
upgrade its backbone network.
Cicconi added that more demand for high-definition video will put an increasing
strain on the Internet infrastructure. “Eight hours of video is loaded onto YouTube
every minute. Everything will become HD very soon, and HD is 7 to 10 times more
bandwidth-hungry than typical video today. Video will be 80 percent of all traffic
by 2010, up from 30 percent today,” he said.
The AT&T executive pointed out that the Internet exists, thanks to the
infrastructure provided by a group of mostly private companies. “There is nothing
magic or ethereal about the Internet–it is no more ethereal than the highway
system. It is not created by an act of God, but upgraded and maintained by private
investors,” he said.