AT&T Shills Proclaim End of the Internet
Telcom industry-backed group proclaims that a consumer traffic "exaflood" will overwhelm the internet unless the telcos are given more power and tax dollars, with less oversight and accountability. Hint; it's a trick.
As a rule, most warnings of Internet capacity armageddon come from traffic shaping companies looking to sell hardware, or industry lobbyists trying to shape policy through think tanks. The term "exaflood," created by the same think tank who crafted the term "intelligent design," is part of a sophisticated campaign aimed at convincing the press, public and lawmakers that without giving carriers what they want (less regulation, no net neutrality laws, no price controls, huge subsidies and tax credits, less consumer protection), the world will simply run out of bandwidth and we'll all be weeping over our clogged tubes.
Andrew Odlyzko, one of the nation's top experts on global Internet traffic, repeatedly notes that while growth is strong, it doesn't necessitate drastic new pricing model shifts (metered billing), and is entirely manageable with just modest capacity upgrades. According to Odlyzko, the current Internet growth rate of about 50% per year "can be accommodated with essentially the current level of capital investment." If anything, Odlyzko predicts a slow down (something Cogent confirms).
But carriers are better served having the public worry that we're running out of capacity and need to take drastic steps to avoid problems. That's why a think tank named the Discovery Institute (who also crafted the phrase "intelligent design" used to help push creationism into U.S. classrooms) cooked up the term "exaflood" in a 2007 Wall Street Journal editorial.