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September Effect

  • From: Sean Donelan
  • Date: Wed Sep 02 07:49:42 1998

Mother's day is the busiest day for the U.S. voice telephone network.

The Friday after Thanksgiving is the busiest day for U.S. public libraries.

U.S. electrical demand forecast increased 3% this summer compared to last year.

The movie Titanic reach $600 million dollars domestic box office last

The Internet has the September effect, maybe.

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.

So what is going on?

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.

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.
Sean Donelan, Data Research Associates, Inc, St. Louis, MO
  Affiliation given for identification not representation

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