opinion


Industry split on whether internet ‘running out’ of bandwidth

 
 
 
 
Telecoms professionals are split down the middle on whether increasing bandwidth demands are likely to break the internet.

According to a survey of 372 industry professionals, carried out by research firm IDC at the NXTcomm08 conference in Las Vegas this week, of the 51 per cent who see trouble ahead, one in four think it could happen within two years.

Inline with recent media coverage, video is seen by the industry naysayers as the biggest bandwidth hog, with 43 per cent of respondents believing that up to 30 per cent of overall internet traffic is video today, while 40 per cent expect that to increase to up to 75 per cent in five years.

The survey respondents speculated a similar fate for mobile data, with 50 per cent saying that video puts the biggest bandwidth demand on mobile networks today, while 81 per cent believe that will still be true in five years.

“The findings of this survey make it very plain that bandwidth is not infinite,” said Lee Doyle, group VP and general manager for Network Infrastructure and Security Products and Services at IDC. “Unless there is sufficient investment into new infrastructure, the increased bandwidth demands of new advanced services could well outstrip capacity.”

Controversially, of the 80 per cent who identified a way to deal with internet congestion, 32 per cent think providers address spikes in traffic by prioritising via packet inspection, while 24 per cent believe that spikes are better handled by charging more for excess bandwidth.

The survey was commissioned by telecoms kit maker Tellabs.


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