The material in this
section is drawn from Coffman and Odlyzko (1998, 2000).
Telecommunications Union (ITU) database provides estimates of telephone
traffic for 207 countries for 1997-98, which total 2.5 x 1012
minutes per year. Adding in an estimate for the missing countries brings
us to 7.5 x 1012 minutes per year, or roughly 600,000 terabytes
per month. Compression would reduce storage requirements by a factor of
6 to 8.
The US accounts for
about 250,000 terabytes per month, of which roughly a third is modem calls.
We have somewhat better
estimates for long-distance traffic in the US, including voice, Internet,
public data networks and private lines.
|Table 1: Traffic on U.S. long distance networks in terabytes, year-end 1999.
||10,000 - 16,000
|Other Public Data Networks
||5,000 - 8,500
- Internet traffic has, on average, been doubling every year for 30
years, though the growth rates varied significantly during that period.
- The current rate of growth of Internet traffic is roughly 100% per
- By 2002 data traffic will surpass phone traffic.
- Residential Internet use in the US is growing at about 30% a year.
When residential users switch to broadband, the total volume of data
accessed increases by a factor of 5-10. As residential broadband grows,
traffic should approach the 100% per year growth rate.
- Internal corporate (intranet) traffic is growing at about 30% per
year, but corporate traffic to the public Internet is growing at 100%
- According to Peter Davidson, of Davidson Consulting, about 300 billion
seconds of fax transmissions take place annually. At 45 seconds per
page, this means 400 billion pages per year are faxed. At 15 Kb per
page, this comes to around 6,000 terabytes of fax information per year.
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