There’s a great piece in New Scientist depicting the explosion in the internet and bandwidth deployment. Update: a new infographic from the perennially GOOD blog, focuses on the growth in undersea cable and the relative speed and cost. When you look at the amount of sub-oceanic bandwidth installed and the relative growth rates in content production and consumption by geography, it raises a few interesting questions:
- Which oceanic links could cause the most damaging globally cascading issues through the global mesh (Think what happened last week in PRC due to earthquake off Taiwan). Could a massive earthquake or bomb strike shut down the global economy?
- Which links are nearing capacity today / What about in the future?
- What will the web traffic look like in 10 years when Mandarin is the number 1 language and Hindi the number 2 language, with English a distant 3rd? How do Google and other web crawling services need to adapt to that new reality?
- What rapid shifts in bandwidth demand can be caused when the worlds largest bandwidth consumer can have “Permitted Content” shifts rapidly due to changes in Governmental Censorship, such as the access tightenings in Iran or the recent Chinese Great Firewall clamp-downs?