Rare reason in the broadband debate

Calm and reasoned discussion in debates over broadband and Internet policy are rare. But Saul Hansell, in a series of posts at the NYTimes Bits blog, does an admirable job surveying international broadband comparisons. Here are parts I and II, with part III on the way. [Update: Here’s part III. And here’s a good previous post on “broadband stimulus.”]

So far Hansel has asked two basic questions: Why is theirs faster? And why is theirs cheaper? “Theirs” being non-American broadband.

His answers: “Their” broadband is not too much faster than American broadband, at least not anymore. And their broadband is cheaper for a complicated set of reasons, but mostly because of government price controls that could hurt future investment and innovation in those nations that practice it.

Ask America. We already tried it. But more on that later.Read More

Rapid Internet Traffic Growth Continues in U.S. and Around Globe

As nearly every indicator of economic growth plummets, the Net maintains its rise.

net-traffic-yr-end-08

Internet traffic in the U.S. and around the globe in 2008 grew at an annual rate of between 50% and 60%. This compound pace of growth has remained fairly steady for the past half-decade. Year-end 2008 data show monthly U.S. Internet traffic was about 1.5 exabytes, a 10- fold increase since 2002. An exabyte is one million terabytes, or a billion gigabytes.

In previous research, we projected U.S. Internet and IP traffic to grow at a compound annual rate of around 56% through 2015. (See “Estimating the Exaflood”; “Unleashing the ?Exaflood’”; and “The Coming Exaflood.”)

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