The system of Internet highways and byways is being reconfigured to cope with the size and shape of traffic heading over it, while Internet companies are dreaming up fresh approaches to avoid.
It’s an old story with a new twist. The big fret among users was once the idea that the Internet would run out of bandwidth before the end of the 2000s, or that its IP address space was soon to be exhausted. Not every techno-prophet subscribed to these notions, but most agreed that the somewhat haphazard fashion in which the Internet was built-out in the 1990s and 2000s did not take account of the traffic demands that it faces in the 2010s.
The IP address availability issue rumbles on still, as the remedy – migration from the legacy IPv4 protocol to IPv6 – is only just getting going in most regions. The core bandwidth issue – that is, whether the existing Internet infrastructure can manage with the proliferating volumes of traffic being loaded onto it – has largely been sorted out by advances in switch/router technology and ingenious innovations by the networking companies for obtaining greater capacity from the available routes.
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