Generally the previous numbers come from self-reported numbers from
companies in the various industries. The NSFNET used to report total
traffic growth. After the NSFNET was shutdown, the NAPs reported
aggregate traffic at those points. Although there are obvious problems
with any single point measurements of the Internet, they did give everyone
a gross starting point. Much of our collective notion about the hyper-growth
of the Internet came from these numbers. But if you look at the public
numbers for Internet traffic, its still growing but at a slower rate.
Bandwidth at the public exchanges has slowed because the public exchanges
cannot carry enough traffic given the number of ports needed.
I suggest that bandwidth growth has continued because of a large increase
in private peering. How much?
You and I will never know. Given that the information about these
interconnects is held as proprietary information under 50-100 different
companies, we are not likely to ever know. We can only track the growth
of our own companies bandwidth utilization, and plan accordingly.
Internet growth has slowed.
Internet growth is being constrained by some factor. If you add up
the numbers at the NAPs, there is currently no single backbone in
existence able to carry the entire Internet load. Even the new
OC-48 networks announced by AGIS and Sprint are too small.
You missed Frontier Globalcenter in that list. Our OC48c IP backbone
announcement was several weeks ago.
Internet growth continues at its previous rate, but the public measurements
no longer capture it. Do overall measurements of the Internet serve any
useful purpose either for network engineering or investor information. Most
other industries report various quantitative metrics on a regular basis.
Yes, that's the ticket (the beginning of your message didn't lead into this).
Overall traffic measurements would be very interesting, but not relevant
to the needs inside owns own company. The amount of intra-network and
inter-network bandwidth that is needed will vary from company to company,
depending on business models, investment in sales and marketing, etc. etc.