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.”
Cicconi, who was speaking at the event as part of a wider series of meetings with U.K. government officials, said that at least $55 billion worth of investment was needed in new infrastructure in the next three years in the U.S. alone, with the figure rising to $130 billion to improve the network worldwide. “We are going to be butting up against the physical capacity of the Internet by 2010,” he said.
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.
Cicconi added that more demand for high-definition video will put an increasing strain on the Internet infrastructure. “Eight hours of video is loaded onto YouTube every minute. Everything will become HD very soon, and HD is 7 to 10 times more bandwidth-hungry than typical video today. Video will be 80 percent of all traffic by 2010, up from 30 percent today,” he said…