BEIJING, Nov. 20 (Xinhuanet) -- Study shows a flood of new video and other web content could overwhelm the Internet by 2010 unless backbone providers invest up to 137 billion U.S. dollars in new capacity, more than double what service providers plan to invest, media reported Tuesday.
The study shows Internet access infrastructure,
specifically in North America, will likely cease to be adequate for supporting
demand within the next three to five years.
The study confirms long-time concerns of the Internet
Innovation Alliance (IIA), an advocacy group focused on upgrading U.S. broadband
networks, said Bruce Mehlman, co-chairman of the group. The group has been
warning people of the coming "exaflood" of video and other Web content that
could clog its pipes.
The study suggests demand for Web applications like
streaming and interactive video, peer-to-peer file transfers, and music
downloads will accelerate, creating a demand for more capacity. Close to three
quarters of U.S. Internet users watched an average of 158 minutes of video in
May and viewed more than 8.3 billion video streams, according to research from
comScore, an analysis group.
Internet users will create 161 exabytes of new data
this year, and this exaflood is a positive development for Internet users and
businesses, IIA says. An exabyte is 1 quintillion bytes or about 1.1 billion
gigabytes. One exabyte is the equivalent of about 50,000 years of DVD-quality
The responsibility for keeping up with this growing
demand lies with backbone providers and national policy makers, said
U.S. lawmakers can also help in several ways, he
said. For example, the U.S. Congress could require that home contractors who
receive government assistance for building affordable housing include broadband
connections in their houses, he said. Congress could also provide tax credits to
help broadband providers add more capacity, he said.
Consumers also pay high taxes for telecommunication
services, averaging about 13 percent on some telecom services, similar to the
tax rate on tobacco and alcohol, Mehlman said.