Keeping pace? Torrents of traffic and the Internet backbone

Ars Technica writes:

"Video killed the ISP?

There's nothing worse than showing up to class only to be confronted by a pop quiz for which you haven't studied, but don't worry; this one will be pretty painless. It's only two questions long. Here's the first one.

Which of the following statements are true of US Internet traffic growth since 2000:

1. Internet traffic growth has increased exponentially year-over-year
2. Internet traffic growth has held steady year-over-year
3. Internet traffic growth is falling year-over-year

Question number two also concerns Internet traffic growth, but with a special focus on P2P. Hands on your buzzers? Here we go.

Which of the following statements is true of P2P growth over the last several years:

1. It is growing at 1,553 percent per year
2. It is growing at 690 percent each year
3. It is growing at 100 percent each year

Before we get to the answers, let's consider why the questions matter. A prominent strain of recent argument has claimed that the Internet is headed for an "exaflood" of traffic (which will soon be measured in exabytes), largely coming from the rise of online video, and that the ISPs and backbone providers are in danger of having their levees knocked down. The first question gets to the heart of the issue: are Internet growth rates surging in such a way that Internet providers need to start popping Xanax like it's candy? "

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