Internet Capacity Concerns Resurface, Research Sounds Alarm

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The internet is being stuffed with multimedia assets, and broadband pipes are powering the action.

For artists, labels, and everyone in-between, that allows broader expression, and deeper connections with fans. But internet capacities could become strained within a matter of years, according to a recent report from the Nemertes Research Group.

The alarmist finding outlines traffic jams by 2010, unless ultra-expensive infrastructure upgrades are made.  “Our findings indicate that although core fiber and switching/routing resources will scale nicely to support virtually any conceivable user demand, internet access infrastructure, specifically in North America, will likely cease to be adequate for supporting demand within the next three to five years,” the report asserts.

ISPs are notorious for advertising lightning-speed connections – and most times, they deliver.  But behind-the-scenes, access providers are actively shaping and managing traffic to keep things flowing.  Just recently, Comcast was blasted for throttling BitTorrent traffic, though the company defended its use of bandwidth management techniques.  But Nemerte argued that access providers will need to ramp near-term infrastructure investments towards $137 billion to accommodate increasing demand, a serious jump over currently-planned allocations.  The report follows similar concerns from other groups, including the Internet Innovation Alliance (IIA).