Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Last Mile, The Shortest Delay - Will The Internet Slowdown?

According to a recent article by Shamus McGillicuddy, News Writer at SearchSMB.com, titled 'Internet not growing fast enough, researchers say, "according to new research, demand for Internet usage will start to outpace the capacity of the Internet's access points. This potential crunch could spell trouble for CIOs."

I am flabbergasted by the conclusions drawn by this team of researchers that the writer is reporting about.

They seem to be unfamiliar with the rapid pace of change in technology in general, and in Internet related innovation in particular, when making their semi-dire predictions.

Yes, there is a huge growth in Internet traffic. And, yes, some slowdowns can happen. But, the last mile to the home or business is, most often, NOT the bottleneck. As a matter of fact, I have 1.5 Mbps DSL in NY and 6 Mbps DSL in Miami, and some web sites can respond equally slowly regardless of where I access them from.

"Slowdown" is NOT a generic problem that afflicts the entire Internet, as the 'research' would suggest. The problem can be specific to certain sites, domains, news events of the day, and, much like the highways analogy the news article referred to, it is nearly impossible to build broadband pipes that people and applications will not find ways to clog.

What is needed is intelligent research on where the clogging is likely to be, rather than generic predictions, based on weak logic and an apparent disdain for the reality of the rapid pace of technology innovation.

In summary, the last mile is NOT the problem, and even 6 Mbps DSL lines can find some web sites as slow as 768 Kbps lines. 'Slowdown' is NOT a generic problem across the entire Internet, but is, and will be, a more and more site/domain specific issue. The rapid pace of technology innovation with more reasonable pricing mechanisms will ensure the Internet remains an efficient and effective platform.
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