International Internet backbone links saw another surge in capacity during 2010, with total bandwidth growing by 55 percent. That's tremendous growth—but it's actually slower than in years past, and carriers are having no trouble keeping up with demand.
According to Telegeography, a consultancy, 13Tbps (Terabits per second) of bandwidth were added to international links this year alone (read the executive summary of their new report). This requires enormous investment, but there's also enormous demand. The net result is that paying for transit is now cheaper than it's ever been; in New York and London, transit can be purchased from a carrier for around $10/Mbps per month.
While some pundits have long claimed that the Internet is about to drown beneath an "exaflood" of data—mostly caused by the rise of Internet video—there's (still) no problem in the backbone. As Telegeography's research director Alan Mauldin notes, "Thanks to these large increases in new bandwidth, traffic growth has not overwhelmed operators’ networks, and overall network utilization levels have remained stable" in 2010.
Fifty-five percent year-over-year growth is significant, but it's down from past years; in 2007, for instance, year-over-year international Internet bandwidth growth was at 70 percent. It has declined each year since.
Source: ars technica