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AT&T Says Internet's Current Architecture Will Reach Its Limit By 2010

     
10:57 am on Apr 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

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U.S. telecommunications giant AT&T has claimed that, without investment, the Internet's current network architecture will reach the limits of its capacity by 2010.
Speaking at a Westminster eForum on Web 2.0 this week in London, Jim Cicconi, vice president of legislative affairs for AT&T, warned that the current systems that constitute the Internet will not be able to cope with the increasing amounts of video and user-generated content being uploaded.

"The surge in online content is at the center of the most dramatic changes affecting the Internet today," he said. "In three years' time, 20 typical households will generate more traffic than the entire Internet today."

AT&T Says, Internet's Current Architecture Will Reach Its Limit By 20 [news.com]
1:56 pm on Apr 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member digitalghost is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



>>"In three years' time, 20 typical households will generate more traffic than the entire Internet today."

Amazing the number of crystal balls floating around out there. 20 'typical' households generating more traffic than the entire Internet of today? 20? Wow. That's 20 really wired households.

Poor headline too. Definitely needs to be an if following 2010 in that headline, followed by more than one qualifier.

2:02 pm on Apr 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Well, the guy runs AT&T why isn't he investing then? It's his job to do so rather than complain about lack of investment. There are plenty of new developments, the ISPs just need to invest all the time into improvements rather than milk the cow they inherited from .COM boom.
6:28 pm on Apr 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

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From his AT&T bio:

James W. Cicconi
Senior Executive Vice President-External and Legislative Affairs
...is responsible for AT&T's public policy organization.
...previously served as general counsel and executive vice president-Law and Government Affairs. ...previously was a partner at Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, L.L.P.
...previously served in the White House under two presidents, including two years as deputy chief of staff to President George H.W. Bush and four years as a special assistant to President Ronald Reagan.

Whatever he was saying had to do with his job talking with governments. Probably a wedge against net neutrality, possibly a basis for infrastructure investment tax breaks or something similar.

Whenever an executive makes grandiose claims without accompanying proofs he is looking for unjustified advantages at others expense. A common occurrence.

Lord Majestic: use their own money? borrow on their own credit? I am shocked at such a proposal.

10:58 am on Apr 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member swa66 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



They want more money out of the content providers as they don't have the guts to ask the right price from the content downloaders, and are using nonsense as arguments.
They're already charging twice (those downloading pay for a service, those offering content also pay for their web hosting/housing/connection/...) and they want to pass by a third time.
11:06 am on Apr 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member billys is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



>>"In three years' time, 20 typical households will generate more traffic than the entire Internet today."

Someone needs a new slide rule.

11:28 am on Apr 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

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so...

while this is a valid tech problem in the short/mid term

the sum-up of the comments would be that...

It's blunt and shameless propaganda for something that already failed ( Comcast )
Trying to pave the way for the next round...
so that the court wouldn't order them to disable similar filters...

And since the person doesn't know jack about those series of tubes we call the Internet... he made a fool out of himself in front of the general public

...?

...

okay then, let's see...

vice president of legislative affairs for AT&T, warned that the current systems that constitute the Internet will not be able to cope with the increasing amounts of video and user-generated content

... what a s&$@^%& way to say "file sharing" and "spam".
Mind you file sharing is not something that'll go away.
In many senses... it pre-dates the internet.

...

Can't they have the market decide all this?

If every corporate player in the food chain will need to updgrade just to keep up, they'll bill the cost right back at the consumer anyway. Once that happens, many of those who downloaded the most pirated stuff will not be able to pay up and traffic will decrease. Or was this too simplistic ?

oh. I get it, they don't want to upgrade. heh... he served under Reagan too huh? so Star Wars was OK, upgrading THE information technology er... I mean Internet Tubes(tm) is too much.

12:02 pm on Apr 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Doesn't this seem like a headline that we would read on "The Onion"... ;-)
1:39 pm on Apr 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Lord Majestic: use their own money? borrow on their own credit? I am shocked at such a proposal.

I know, my apologies for such a terrible idea to have company spend part of the money they charge customers on infrastructure upgrades :(

IMO, the job of a good regulator should be to make sure that every ISP has got plans to improve infrastructure - no ISP should expect that the money they charge for services can only go to operational stuff (call center) and profits, no - big part should be continuous improvements in infrastructure.

It's shocking really - it's like as if (say) Ford was saying that without investment there would be no more fuel efficient cars, of course there won't be and it's the Ford's job to do that investment! If they have a company that does not intend to do that then they have no long-term future and the job of a regulator should be to prevent such companies existing in the first place - they undermine charges in pursuit of short term gains and doom the whole industry as the result. This is pretty much what happened in the UK - cheap ISPs resell packages from BT at low margins and they simply don't have money to invest into infrastructure, so they cut off people when they exceed bandwidth usage often as low as 1 GB per month. Thankfully the public started using the Net more and more so they no longer can cut off a handful of people because more and more of them use video.

2:01 pm on Apr 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

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So....doesn't it mean those 20 households are going to have extremely fast internet connections to push THAT much traffic? 1/20th of the current internet traffic is gigabytes/second. So if AT&T isn't the one offering it, who is so I can sign up now?
4:37 pm on Apr 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

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> So if AT&T isn't the one offering it, who is so I can sign up now?

Some spin-offs from CERN?

[webmasterworld.com...]

"Internet at speeds 10,000 times faster then broadband coming soon!"

OOPs, supporters section. Sign up to webmasterworld unless you want your household get stuck in the old tubes;)

6:06 pm on Apr 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

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"In three years' time, 20 typical [alternative search engines] will generate more [revenue] than the entire [Google Inc] today". FromRocky
6:10 pm on Apr 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

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In three years' time, 20 typical households will generate more traffic than the entire Internet today.

If that's the case, then there must be a buttload of bandwidth lying idle right now.

It's political posturing for rate increases and "Rider Fees" etc.

6:27 pm on Apr 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator incredibill is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



"In three years' time, 20 typical households will generate more traffic than the entire Internet today."

OK, that's crazy talk.

So that means AT&Ts Project Lightspeed [att.com] is a total crock?

They were out in my area hyping it and trying to get it installed so they could kick Comcast to the curb, spray painted little orange arrows on the ground where the AT&T cable was going to be installed.

That was a year ago and no cable is installed yet.

You can't have it both ways, either you're already expanding your network to handle this IP TV craze or you didn't, so which is it?

6:56 pm on Apr 20, 2008 (gmt 0)



What was that old story about Google buying all that dead fiber lying around, maybe so they dont get squeezed by ATT.
7:15 pm on Apr 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I'm more wondering when IPv4 will break
7:31 pm on Apr 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

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#1 - Many hosts are recently adopting "unlimited bandwidth" plans, including Yahoo!, so they don't seem too worried about it for starters. I'm not going to worry either, it's not my problem, i'm locked in.

#2 - 20 households driving as much traffic as the internet in 3 years? Google has more than 20 entire datacenters that don't even do that.

#3 - Fire the AT&T exec that can't figure out that a surge in online content doesn't mean a surge in people to look at it. If the internet gets 500 times bigger overnight there won't be 500 times more people to surf the net and create the surge, we all have our browsing habits in place.

#4 - A 25 million percent increase in 3 years? (insert joke here)

8:57 pm on Apr 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I'm more wondering when IPv4 will break

Not for long I think, well 7-10 years I guess. The much pressing (and expensive) issue is that of bandwidth - usage is growing fast and companies don't want to invest.

1:09 am on Apr 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

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That's done by ATT to scare the lawmakers, because they want to kill net neutrality laws, or at least get a good bargain for them, like eliminating competition providing DSL.
1:41 am on Apr 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

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The much pressing (and expensive) issue is that of bandwidth - usage is growing fast and companies don't want to invest

If we could just get all those internet start-ups trying to build more search engines, shopping aggragators and spy bots to stop crawling the web, not to mention booting off all the scrapers, site offloaders, spammers and bot nets, it wouldn't be a problem!

8:45 am on Apr 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I've been trying to think a response to the article, but the stupidity of the "20 typical households" comment is too overwhelming...
8:58 am on Apr 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

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If we could just get all those internet start-ups trying to build more search engines, shopping aggragators and spy bots to stop crawling the web, not to mention booting off all the scrapers, site offloaders, spammers and bot nets, it wouldn't be a problem!

These account for a fraction of traffic on the Internet (though on your personal sites the ratio might be different) - majority of bandwidth is consumed by P2P video transfers, that used to be mostly illegal but now with video sites being common place more and more people watch video online: this is what drives traffic, not crawlers - according to some reports YouTube accounted for 10% of all Internet traffic, and that was last year before iPlayer - BitTorrent accounts for 1/3 of all traffic.

9:37 am on Apr 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

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That's done by ATT to scare the lawmakers, because they want to kill net neutrality laws, or at least get a good bargain for them, like eliminating competition providing DSL.

I don't think thats the final goal. I think they want to squeeze out the little guy and milk the bigger media corporations for whatever they can get, in the meantime they'll have free reign to provide their own services and content.

As an example but not directly related the NFL Network has a suit against comcast because they want to put it on higher pay for sports tier, the argument is that similar Coamcast owned sports channels come with basic service...

1:17 pm on Apr 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

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That's done by ATT to scare the lawmakers, because they want to kill net neutrality laws, or at least get a good bargain for them, like eliminating competition providing DSL.

You think the lawmakers will get scared? How many decades have they been warned about environmental issues such as global warming? And how much progress has been made?

2:04 pm on Apr 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

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interconnected tubes anyone?
2:55 pm on Apr 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



You think the lawmakers will get scared?

No, but that's because no big company lobbied them, where as in this case you can be sure those ISPs will lobby hard to kill net neutrality and other things.

3:23 pm on Apr 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

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"The surge in online content is at the center of the most dramatic changes affecting the Internet today," he said. "In three years' time, 20 typical households will generate more traffic than the entire Internet today."

This guys is an idiot and a clown, enough said.

4:54 pm on Apr 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



He didn't just say this:

"In three years' time, 20 typical households will generate more traffic than the entire Internet today."

He also said this:

He claimed that the "unprecedented new wave of broadband traffic" would increase 50-fold by 2015 and that AT&T is investing $19 billion to maintain its network and upgrade its backbone network.

Clearly, there is presently only one house on the Internet. In three years, 20 houses. In seven years, fifty houses. See how it all makes sense now?

Seriously, what I think he's trying to say (perhaps in a way that is intentionally confusing) is that over a three year period, those "20 typical households" will generate more traffic than the amount that will pass over the internet today (in a single day). But I think that would still work out to about 6 terabytes per day per household, so I remain skeptical even assuming large families downloading HD video around the clock.

6:03 pm on Apr 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

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The max bitrate rate on a Blu-Ray disc is about 50,000kbps which isn't used even on disc. Even at the highest quality a rough calculation is about 5 megabytes a second. That comes out to about 18GB in hour or 432 GB a day. So if you had a family of four and all four of them were downloading the highest quality HD available on disc 24 hours a day they would suck up about 1728GB of bandwidth in that time period.

That's not even very realistic because no one is going to be delivering video like that over the internet, they don't even use or need that bitrate on the disc and a family of four isn't going to be individually downloading HD video 24/7.

6:25 pm on Apr 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



That's not even very realistic because no one is going to be delivering video like that over the internet, they don't even use or need that bitrate on the disc and a family of four isn't going to be individually downloading HD video 24/7.
And even if they were, would their residential Internet connection - even after three years of technology improvements - support such massive bandwidth?

I just don't see copper handling that kind of data. And even in a fairly well-wired area, I'm a good year or two from getting fiber.

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