Currently, Internet traffic is about one trillion bits per second, and with the kind of growth it may reach three tbps by 2008. The popularity of the Internet increased with the increase in free file-sharing networks, which enabled sharing of files such as movies, video clips, and games. Peer-to-peer networks and virtual private networks have also contributed to the traffic.
Internet traffic is built upon an infrastructure consisting of individual computers, routers, and the Internet backbone. With the advancement in technology, the Internet is available in mobile applications such as mobile phones and PDAs. The speed of the Internet backbone is limited by traditional carriers such as telephone lines, where the maximum speed was 256 kbps. This slowed down the traffic and resulted in a great deal of congestion.
High–speed-transmission technologies enabled the processing capabilities by compressing data, which resulted in transmission speeds of 1Mbps. Such collection of technologies is called broadband, and different modes of transmission are Digital Subscriber Lines, cable, wireless, and satellite.
Internet traffic can be increased by improving the performance of the Internet. The bottlenecks present in the system can be worked upon. Multicast protocols that transmit data and video applications from one to many are very useful in pushing the information relatively easily. The optimal bandwidth consumption achieved by reducing redundant transmission of web documents and improving the indexing capabilities will increase the Internet traffic.
The maturity of the Internet traffic is also due to the stability of the prices of the broadband. Hence, efficient pricing mechanisms that optimize the cost to bit ratio by service providers will push public into adoption of broadband technologies. Security mechanisms to prevent the hacking of networks, which can completely halt Internet traffic, need to be given high priority by software manufacturers.
The Internet is a complex medium and continues to be used for entertainment, education, and information sharing and is being exploited for its immense applications in commerce and community development. The removal of bottlenecks in the network, components, and the software will keep increasing the Internet growth.
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