New third generation (3G) mobile
telephones and the growing availability of broadband connectivity -
which will bring with it new Internet-based services such as video on
demand - could lead to a ten-fold increase in traffic at Europe's
largest Internet exchange point within two years.
Management and engineering staff at the
London Internet Exchange (LINX) have drawn up a 'technology roadmap'
to ensure that the exchange continues to have the capacity necessary
to handle the growth in traffic. The plan is to be updated every three
months to take account of actual and predicted traffic growth.
LINX chief executive John Souter said:
"We have taken a realistic look at the future development of the
Internet in the UK and, on the basis of those figures, are planning
for a ten-fold increase in traffic in 24 months.
"Our peak traffic flows now are
three times what they were at this time last year. The continuing
roll-out of broadband, increasing business use of the Internet and the
development of new Internet-based consumer services such as video on
demand will see more and more demand for bandwidth at the exchange. We
see no reason to believe the rate of growth will drop, even given
predictions of a slow-down in economic activity."
As well as looking at expanding the use
of existing technology to handle growing demand, the roadmap has plans
for the deployment of new technologies - such as 10 gigabit Ethernet
and IPv6 - and the introduction of new services at the exchange such
as 'private peering' to give direct connections between the networks
of participating ISPs.
LINX - a mutual ownership organisation of
120-plus Internet service providers (ISPs) and content delivery
service providers (CDSPs) - has already announced an investment of £2
million over the next twelve months in new and improved