20 houses “to use more traffic than entire net by 2011”

AT&T claims the internet will run out of capacity in 2010, joining the gathering crowd of net doom mongers.

20 houses

The US telecoms giant repeats the now familiar warning that increased demand for video content could push the internet to its limits.

“The surge in online content is at the centre of the most dramatic changes affecting the internet today,” said Jim Cicconi, vice president of legislative affairs for AT&T, according to a report on ZDNet. “In three years’ time, 20 typical households will generate more traffic than the entire internet today.”

“We are going to be butting up against the physical capacity of the internet by 2010,” he added.

AT&T last year pledged to adopt “net neutrality”, which promises to treat all web traffic equally, and not give priority access to those providers who pay carriers. This latest outburst may be an attempt to reignite the debate, with Cicconi specifically pointing out that the internet hinges on the investment of companies such as his.

“There is nothing magic or ethereal about the internet – it is no more ethereal than the highway system,” he said. “It is not created by an act of God but upgraded and maintained by private investors.”

The UK has recently become embroiled in a similar row over the increasing demands of video content, with ISPs such as Tiscali calling for the BBC to help meet the bandwidth costs of its catch-up TV service.

Click here to read PC Pro’s investigation into whether the internet is doomed.

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