Internet Growth Slows, Report Says

Capacity on international Internet connections didn't grow as dramatically in 2002 as in previous years, according to a recent report from TeleGeography Inc.

The firm's figures show capacity assigned to links that carry Internet traffic across national borders grew about 38 percent from 2001 to 2002, compared with 174 percent growth between 2000 and 2001.

Of course, Internet traffic is a controversial and complicated issue. TeleGeography hasn't measured the actual volume of traffic over international Internet links. It’s also not counting Internet links that handle domestic traffic within particular countries -- at least, not in this report. Instead, the firm has calculated the amount of bandwidth assigned by carriers to specific cross-border connections, then grouped the results by region.

Europe is where the capacity slowdown is greatest. Growth of Internet capacity in Europe fell from 191 percent (between 2000 and 2001) to 35 percent (between 2001 and 2002). This is significant, TeleGeography asserts, since 82 percent of the world’s cross-border Internet bandwidth is located in Europe, thanks to the region’s closely knit economic structure.

The largest increase in growth happened in Latin America, which reported a 65 percent increase in capacity this year. But that figure is down considerably from the 471 percent capacity growth reported for the region the previous year.

TeleGeography attributes the slowdown to a more “conservative approach to deployments of new capacity.” Cash-strapped carriers aren’t building like they used to. Some are actually reducing capacity on some links in order to make their networks better tailored and more efficient.

The firm says a reduction in capacity doesn’t necessarily correlate with a drop in demand. ”If you look at capacity as a proxy for demand for lit bandwidth, then I guess you’d say demand is slowing. But I don’t think that’s the real story,” says Alan Mauldin, senior research analyst at TeleGeography.

He says the new growth figures need to be viewed in light of the rapid buildout that took place two years ago, often reflecting brand-new facilities where none existed before. Now, carriers in Europe and elsewhere are focused less on provisioning bandwidth than on managing what they've got.

Another factor in the mix is carrier consolidation. The closing of facilities by Energis, KPNQwest, Teleglobe, and others has taken a substantial chunk out of Internet capacity, Mauldin says. KPNQwest alone shut down 192 Gbit/s of international Internet capacity, he says.

Despite the general slowdown, the world's ranking of top international Internet links is still intact: The largest is the London-to-New York route, with 97-Gbit/s capacity, which grew 24 percent last year. London-to-Paris is second, at 65 Gbit/s; and Frankfurt-to-Paris comes third, at 61 Gbit/s.

— Mary Jander, Senior Editor, Light Reading
flanker 12/4/2012 | 9:31:39 PM
re: Internet Growth Slows, Report Says I read a report produced by TIA to the effect that IP traffic doubled last year in the US, and that metro IP traffic growth was supposed to be greater than that.

They also said circuit availability on on secondary and tertiary markets was tight.

purna 12/4/2012 | 9:31:37 PM
re: Internet Growth Slows, Report Says Some European carriers have improved on their peering strategy, keeping more Internet in-country or in-region. This reduces especially the demand for transatlantic IP connectivity.
nbwaite 12/4/2012 | 9:31:35 PM
re: Internet Growth Slows, Report Says Ms. Jander wrote

"Europe is where the capacity slowdown is greatest."

Instead, in the article, the numerical data the
graph clearly show that capacity has been increasing
so that there is no "capacity slowdown".

But "capacity slowdown" communicates an experience,
emotion, the overall angst of down, down, down,
melt-down, the agony of defeat, the poignancy and
pathos of pain of disaster. Here Ms. Jander and
'Light Reading' are back to their main love and
overwhelming preoccupation -- the drama of formula

Ms. Jander and 'Light Reading' have one bit
'emotional intelligence'; either the bit is one for
up, up, up, forever up to infinity and beyond or the
bit is zero for down, down, down, melt-down.

Currently the bit is 0, so everything has to be
down, melt-down, slowdown, and, here, "capacity

The numbers, the graph, those are not relevant to
the one bit emotional state.

Ms. Jander and 'Light Reading' should realize that
one of the most important ways to a better future
with less agony is to look at reality directly, get
all the information we can that is solid, objective,
hopefully quantitative, and relevant, use that
information to see clearly, to plan and 'engineer' a
better future, and then get on with making that
future real.

No doubt many of us seriously involved in
telecommunications would like for Ms. Jander and
'Light Reading' to be good sources of such

The broad assumption that disaster is inexplicable
and beyond our control is irrational, defeatist,
dependent, hopeless, irresponsible, and

In intellectual safety and efficacy, the methods of
drama and formula fiction were falling behind those
of mathematics, science, and engineering quickly by
1900; by 2000 the gap was so wide that drama and
fiction were good only for light entertainment and
just dangerous snake oil for anything important.
Seeing people get sick on snake oil is no fun; I
urge Ms. Jander and 'Light Reading' to get rid of
the snake oil.
gea 12/4/2012 | 9:31:33 PM
re: Internet Growth Slows, Report Says "No doubt many of us seriously involved in
telecommunications would like for Ms. Jander and
'Light Reading' to be good sources of such

This more or less voices a criticism of Lightreading I have seen on a number of occasions in these pages, and I'd like to take some issue with it.

First of all, let me say that I DO agree that Lightreading needs to be a bit more attentive to the technical details of some of what they cover, and then have the be reflected in their pieces better.

That said, it should be remembered that in 2001, particularly in the USA, if a journalist does not make their subject interesting, said journalist will soon not have a job. And the folks at LR are Journalists, not engineers.

In addition, I don't mind if an article has a certain bent or angle, as long as there's enough detail and facts for me to form an intelligent opinion of the subject. In your case, you were able to read the graphs and form your own conclusions.

In the end, I think it might be a bit too much to expect that LR stories be interesting AND technically precise.
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