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How the Internet continues to sustain growth and innovation

How the Internet continues to sustain growth and innovation Download File

Date: 24 Oct 2012

Document Type: Reports

Tags: Development
, Multi-stakeholder is: Development, Multi-stakeholder is: Innovation, WTPF
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graphic of world with ethernet port and cable© iStockPhoto / Internet Society


Worried the Internet won't be able to keep up with demand? Don't be. 

The ability of the Internet to keep pace with increasing demand and changing usage is a recurring concern in the history of the Internet. Today, such concerns are raised with respect to two overlapping trends: first, the accelerating growth in access worldwide, notably in developing countries; and second, the rapid growth in Internet usage by existing and new users, driven by demand for video content and new services such as machine-to-machine applications. Specifically, some stakeholders argue that current business models are unable to supply the infrastructure needed to meet this demand, which could lead to a reduction in service quality or even a collapse of the Internet.

In this paper we show that, in the face of constant growth and changes, fears about the sustainability of the Internet are almost as old as the commercial Internet itself, while market forces continue to meet the challenges presented by new demands on the Internet. In particular, we show how these challenges have been continually met in developed countries, based on a combination of new technology, investment, and changing business models, and how these same forces are already addressing new demands in developing countries today.


1 Introduction
2 Sustainable development is a continual concern
3 The basis for Internet sustainability
3.1 Technology
3.2 Investment
3.3 Changes in traffic flows
4 Internet sustainability in emerging markets
4.1 Investment
4.2 Innovation
5 Conclusion