Internet still growing, says founder

The Internet has continued to grow, despite a worldwide economic slump and terrorist activity, according to new traffic measurements by Internet founder Dr Lawrence Roberts.

Over the period of Roberts' study, April 2000 to January 2002, Internet traffic grew annually by a factor of three.

Traffic data from the 20 leading Tier One IP network service providers in the US revealed the Internet has continued at roughly the same average growth rate since the early 1990s.

"The biggest implication of these findings is that carriers are going to be spending again soon. Today's core routers are the bottlenecks. There are scientific limits to how much their networks can handle before performance degrades to levels that customers will no longer accept," Roberts said.

Traffic was found to have grown faster in the first period of the analysis from April 2000 to April 2001. Over those months, traffic grew at a factor of four.

"A longer sample illustrates how Internet growth rate fluctuates over time. The longer sample period also illuminates factors that affect the growth rates, such as seasonal variation, business developments in the industry and other factors."

Roberts' findings run counter to some networking vendors and analysts that have suggested the growth rate of the Internet is slowing.

His study is the first scientific measurement of traffic data since The US National Science Foundation ceased tracking American Internet traffic in 1995.

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