Death of the Internet predicted: Film at 11

It’s been too long since I’ve seen one of these stories. It kind of takes me back.

For months there has been a rising chorus of alarm about the surging growth in the amount of data flying across the Internet. The threat, according to some industry groups, analysts and researchers, stems mainly from the increasing visual richness of online communications and entertainment — video clips and movies, social networks and multiplayer games.

Moving images, far more than words or sounds, are hefty rivers of digital bits as they traverse the Internet’s pipes and gateways, requiring, in industry parlance, more bandwidth. Last year, by one estimate, the video site YouTube, owned by Google, consumed as much bandwidth as the entire Internet did in 2000.

In a report last November, a research firm projected user demand for the Internet could outpace network capacity by 2011. The title of a debate scheduled next month at a tech conference in Boston sums up the angst: “The End of the Internet?”

I’m thinking there’s a song parody opportunity in that debate title. I remember the good old days, when the Internet’s imminent demise was predicted roughly once a week. It’s good in a way to get back to the basics.

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