A Quick Peek at the Internet Growth Charts

[qi:109] The growth of the Internet is both true and greatly exaggerated depending on which web you look at, according to a rundown of data offered last night by Prof. Andrew M. Odlyzko of the University of Minnesota School of Mathematics. Growth of the wireless web is far outpacing the rise in use of the wired web, and providers charge more for wireless traffic. Odlyzko compiles an annual report on the growth of Internet traffic that generally looks at growth not as an incoming exaflood of information designed to take out networks or sell more routers, but to actually forecast the growth of networks.

In his rundown of recent, available data, the wired web has been growing by about 65 percent worldwide from the third quarter of this year over last year judging by stats from PAIX, an Internet exchange. Otherwise, growth appears to be slowing in North America and Europe, although Odlyzko is looking at only a few data points for this update. However, he concludes that wireless web growth is up 400 percent based on a report issued last week by Opera, which makes the Opera Mini mobile browser. As wireless growth explodes, look for carriers, in a bid to both control access and boost revenue, to implement tight controls on what users can and cannot do on their data plans. And even though wired web growth is slowing, don’t expect carriers to suddenly abandon their efforts to squeeze more out of subscribers with tales of video clogging the network.

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