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Old 04-27-2008, 08:51 AM   #1
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The End Is Nigh!

Only 2 years until the internet kerplodes!
Doom-filled warnings arrive from AT&T this week. The company says that without substantial investment in network infrastructure, the Internet will essentially run out of bandwidth in just two short years.

Blame broadband, says AT&T. Decades of dealing with the trickle of bandwidth consumed by voice and dialup modems left AT&T twiddling its thumbs. The massive rise of DSL and cable modem service in the 2000s has had AT&T facing a monstrous increase in the volume of data transmissions. And that's set to increase another 50 times between now and 2015. That's enough, says AT&T, to all but crash the system.

In response, AT&T says it's investing $19 billion to upgrade the backbone of the Internet, the routers, servers, and connections where the bulk of traffic is processed.

Of course, AT&T is using this breathlessness in part to point fingers beyond simple broadband use. Web video (especially high-definition video) is the most commonly mentioned bandwidth hog. AT&T says video alone will eat up 80 percent of traffic in two years vs. just 30 percent now. One wonders how YouTube doesn't collapse under the pressure. Hmmm.

Meanwhile, many are wondering whether this is prelude to AT&T announcing (or not announcing, but doing anyway) a traffic prioritization/shaping system like Comcast has been tinkering with... and which has earned it nothing but scorn. Net neutrality (which would forbid premium pricing for certain Internet applications and destinations) is a topic that continues to be hotly debated on Capitol Hill, and telcos are anxious to kill the idea since they'd love to be able to charge additional money for different kinds of web traffic. If the whole Internet is about to crash, well, that makes AT&T's argument all the more compelling, doesn't it?

This sounds like a horror, time to start hoarding the porn.

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Old 04-27-2008, 09:01 AM   #2
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AT&T is taking from the Rogers / Bell Canada playbook, by this point. Now that they've successfully recombined most of the old AT&T monopoly (whereas Bell Canada was never broken up; just forced to accept token competition in the mid-1990s), now they're monopolistic enough to cry "hardship" incessantly, and politicians are more than stupid enough to buy it. After all, Canadian politicians certainly do.

The "prelude" is going to mean a justification for higher costs for existing speeds, and they're probably going to try and institute monthly bandwidth limits now, rather than maintain unlimited speeds. Never mind our "broadband" is pitifully slow and expensive, compared to what one gets in Japan or South Korea.

Interestingly, the one company in the U.S. not crying "hardship" is Verizon--which not-so-coincidentally has spent the last few years building a fiber-to-the-curb network, under the brand name, "FiOS." I mean, who would've thought that actual network investment was such a revolutionary concept, right?

By the way, what did AT&T do with all those billions of dollars in federal money they (and all the other telcos) received in the mid-1990s to build the fiber network that never arrived?

It's all very ridiculous, and it will be even more ridiculous if politicians bow down to these weak corporate lies yet again. But, as we all know, they will, just as they do every time.

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Old 04-27-2008, 02:07 PM   #3
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Yeah, I don't buy it either. They've figured out more creative scare tactics to make money from the popularity of the internet and most of congress are to (computer) ignorant to know the difference.

(with that said, I must say I don't understand what bandwidth is and how it's "used up" should probably read up on this )
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Old 04-27-2008, 02:07 PM   #4
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I heard or read somewhere that there is an alternative internet that is up and running that is able to handle many multiples of our current system, when it crashes.

I think this is just an attempt by att to make a play for tiered pricing
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Old 04-27-2008, 03:40 PM   #5
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Originally posted by sue4u2

(with that said, I must say I don't understand what bandwidth is and how it's "used up" should probably read up on this )
Basically, it's the speed of your internet connection.

There is an Internet 2 and several universities have their own nets and all are many times faster than the current internet, but it's quite an act to replace the current system.
There is also IPv6 which is to replace IPv4. But this is not a new internet. As you might know, every computer has an IP address with which it identifies itself when online. Many other devices have IPs as well, but it's only possible for one device to have an IP at a time, since it's kind of a fingerprint. But with more and more devices being online we are approaching the maximum of possible IPs "being online" at a time, which is four billion. With IPv6 there should be several trillion or so different IPs possible.
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