The Future of the Internet Depends On Interconnection

April 24, 2015
Damion Lackamp

By 2020, more than 50% of the world's population will be online. This means an increase from 2.7 billion users to 5.0 billion users by 2020. By 2025, "The Internet of Things" will comprise around 50 billion connected devices. By 2030, machine-to-machine ("M2M") communication is expected to constitute more than 50% of IP traffic.

Can the Internet cope with this evolution? Who (and what) is needed for the Internet to evolve and adjust to these changing circumstances?

Those statistics—and those two important questions—are exactly what is laid out in a 2014 report [PDF] from Arthur D Little and Liberty Global.

Recognizing that the nature of Internet traffic has changed, transforming the Internet into a new media platform, management consulting firm Arthur D Little sought to uncover what will be necessary for the success of Internet in the future. As the Internet has become mission critical for most businesses and as Internet traffic has increased substantially, the report suggests that a "best-effort" model will no longer be enough to sustain high-quality Internet.

The report also notes that although capacity, quality, and traffic management in the “last-mile” will be important to a high-quality Internet experience in the future, the “up-stream” side of the Internet will need to adapt and innovate to meet growing needs.

Which brings us to perhaps the most important statement in the report: that “the extent to which the IP Interconnection sector is able to innovate itself defines the scope of evolution of the Internet as a platform for future applications.”

Without private investments into IP interconnection infrastructure, and more generally into the up-stream side of the Internet, it stands to reason that we won't be able to move past a "best-effort" Internet and into one that guarantees quality not only for B2B applications, but also for applications facing end-users. The future of the Internet depends on interconnection.

That's exactly where Telx comes into the picture. With relationships across all 5 of the actors in the IP Interconnection value chain-CAPs, IP Transit providers, IEXs, CDNs, and ISPs-we're enabling growth and investing in exactly the type of innovation identified as necessary in this report. Without sustainable backend infrastructure, the Internet simply cannot grow.

Interested readers can access the full report at Arthur D. Little’s site here [PDF]. For more information about Telx’s interconnection offerings, please see our Interconnection page. For all other questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out via the contact page of our site, or by Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

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