off-topic: historical query concerning the Internet bubble

Jeff Young young at
Tue Aug 10 23:28:48 UTC 2010

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At the time these statements were made it was possible to make reasonable 
assumptions about the size of the Internet.  As a Tier 1 knew how much traffic our 
customer links generated by the size of the link.  We knew exactly how much
traffic stayed within our backbones and how much traffic ended up in a 
peering arrangement.   We knew with some precision just how much of the 
Tier 2 ISP market was connected to us and how much was connected to others, 
and who the others were.  I don't think the theory still holds but traffic on-net
versus off-net was a pretty good indication of market share.

Today's Internet handles much more traffic in-region and is bounded by 
phenomenon such as language barrier (although the amount of spam I get
in Chinese characters has increased recently, who let the barrier down?).  
This phenomenon wasn't as prominent in '98-'01 and while I wouldn't say 
it's impossible I think you'd have to commission the folks at UCSD to get 
anything that resembled a value for total Internet capacity today.

Doubling in 9-12 months was a reasonable figure back then.  100 days
might have been a short-term spike caused by a back-log of activations
(we sometimes stopped the machine while we made upgrades) but it 
certainly was an anomaly.  


On 10/08/2010, at 9:01 AM, Kenny Sallee wrote:

> On Fri, Aug 6, 2010 at 2:52 PM, Jessica Yu <jyy_99 at> wrote:
>> I do not know if making such distinction would alter the conclusion of your
>> paper.  But, to me, there is a difference between one to predict the growth
>> of
>> one particular network based on the stats collected than one to predict the
>> growth of the entire Internet with no solid data.
>> Thanks!--Jessica
> Agree with Jessica: you can't say the 'Internet' doubles every x number of
> days/amount of time no matter what the number of days or amount of time is.
> The 'Internet' is a series of tubes...hahaha couldn't help it....As we all
> know the Internet is a bunch of providers plugged into each other.  Provider
> A may see an 10x increase in traffic every month while provider B may not.
> For example, if Google makes a deal with Verizon only Verizon will see a
> huge increase in traffic internally and less externally (or vice versa).
> Until Google goes somewhere else!  So the whole 'myth' of Internet doubling
> every 100 days to me is something someone (ODell it seems) made up to
> appease someone higher in the chain or a government committee that really
> doesn't get it.  IE - it's marketing talk to quantify something.  I guess if
> all the ISP's in the world provided a central repository bandwidth numbers
> they have on their backbone then you could make up some stats about Internet
> traffic as a whole.  But without that - it just doesn't make much sense.
> Just my .02
> Kenny

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