Wednesday, June 18, 2008

CTO Of Nortel Discusses Upcoming Bandwidth Boom

The Financial Times has a piece on the upcoming bandwidth boom. The author is John Roese is chief technology officer at Nortel.

Some interesting points:

At the heart of the internet are fat "pipes" - the fibre-optic equivalents of the LA Freeway - which can carry huge amounts of "traffic" in the form of voice, data, video and any combination thereof. The myriad on and off-ramps - connections that telecom service providers have hooked up to it - are not quite so fat or quite so fast.

Downloading a DVD on demand takes the equivalent bandwidth of 16m web page downloads, 400,000 e-mails, or nearly 2,000 iTunes songs (the size of web, music and e-mail files varies greatly, but these are realistic averages). And one movie on a dual-layer Blu-ray disk consumes the staggering equivalent of 100m web page downloads, 2.5m e-mails, and more than 12,000 iTunes songs.

The new services are gobbling up huge amounts of bandwidth, to the point where we have virtually eliminated the "bandwidth glut" of unused capacity that was built up during the late 1990s dotcom boom. We are, in fact, speeding towards a "bandwidth crisis".

On top of that, we are fast approaching a state of hyperconnectivity, where the number of devices, machines, and applications connected to the network will far exceed the number of people connected to it.

we need to expand the freeway but without the year-long roadworks that cause endless frustration. I would advocate doing this with advanced optical technology that essentially allows vehicles to be stacked on top of each other. This enables up to 10 times as much information to be carried in each lane of traffic without physically widening the road.

Do we need a boom in bandwidth or just bandwidth efficiency?

Ponderings about bandwidth.

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