Internet to break down by 2010 says AT&T prophet of doom

American Telecom Giant AT&T dispatched its vice president of legislative affairs to speak at last week's Westminster eForum on Web 2.0 in London and he issued a worrying message : the net will reach its physical capacity by 2010.

Jim Cicconi also predicted that by 2011, 20 typical households will generate more traffic than the entire internet today with HD video - which consumes up to 10 times more bandwidth than low res video - accounting for an estimated 80 percent of the total web traffic by 2011.

Internet's Armageddon could be nearer than we think according to Cicconi; but he does not provide with more clues as to how he reached this conclusion.

Obviously AT&T has some vested interests and this was made clear when Ciconni stepped up to ask for up to $185 billion to be invested in new infrastructures in the US and worldwide to make sure that the current demand for content can be sustained.

BT is already investing in its 21CN, next generation fibre optic network, which will replace its ageing copper network and which will necessitate up to £15 billion investment over the next decade or so.

He also objected to governments having a say in Internet matters, something that is bound to cause a stir following the highly explosive net-neutrality debate.

The BBC and British ISPs are at loggerheads over who should foot the bill for the looming increase of online video on demand services which content producers are pushing forward.