The internet is preparing itself for the onslaught of new web-enbled mobile phones, the uptake of internet television and an increasing number of phone calls made online.
The latest sign was Verisign’s announcement last week that it would spend more than $100m to increase its capacity 10-fold over the next three years.
Verisign, which runs the .com and .net domain names and directs internet traffic at two of the 13 ‘root’ servers that direct the world’s internet traffic, said it had had a "wake-up call" on capacity needs.
Industry forecasts estimate that global internet users will nearly double to 1.8bn by 2010. Much of this will come from the world’s 2bn mobile phone users buying internet-enabled phones. In countries like India and China, the mobile phone may be the primary way to access the internet.
In addition, households will be increasingly hooking up their TVs and home phones to the internet.
All this creates more traffic for Verisign to deal with. Each time anyone clicks on a .com or a .net website or checks email, that is another query for Verisign’s DNS servers to handle. But now, in addition to just individuals sending queries, the servers will be handling traffic each time someone changes channel on internet TV, or makes a voice over IP call.