Minnesota Internet Traffic Studies (MINT) has reported that the growth rate of Internet traffic is down to 50 to 60 percent in mid-2007 both in the US and the rest of the world.
In spite of the widespread claims of continuing and even accelerating growth rates, Internet traffic growth appears to be decelerating, according to the report.
In the US, there was a brief period of “Internet traffic doubling every 100 days” back in 1995-96, but already by 1997 growth subsided towards an approximate doubling every year, and more recently even that growth rate has declined towards 50-60 per year, it added.
As this passage is being written (in August 2007), there are concerns about “exafloods” of traffic, primarily video, that might overwhelm the Internet, according to the report. This is motivating calls for new business models, with many implications for issues such as “net neutrality”. But there is very little solid data about what is happening on the network, and many conflicting estimates, the MINT report said.
The MINTS project is supported by the Digital Technology Center and the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute, and the ADC Chair held by Andrew Odlyzko, which comes from an endowment donated by the ADC Foundation.