Who should bear the cost of tomorrow’s broadband?

[IDG] Industry execs discusses net neutrality and the tensions between providers of bandwidth-munching services and the providers who build out the underlying infrastructureAs the volume of Internet traffic grows explosively, driven by factors like rampant demand for online video, a new question is arising: Who will get the bill for the megasized data pipes of the future?A panel of industry executives and analysts mulled that question and related issues during a keynote event Thursday at the Cebit conference in Hanover, Germany.”One person’s broadband is somebody else’s narrowband. … What was classified as broadband just a few years ago is definitely narrowband today,” said Dan Bieler, an IDC analyst who moderated the discussion.Observers have predicted that while the Web’s infrastructure is quickly becoming more robust, richer, higher-traffic content will accordingly help fill the additional bandwidth.In fact, the amount of information created, captured, and replicated on the Internet will grow to nearly 1,000 exabytes over the next several years, from less than 200 exabytes in 2006, according to a slide Bieler showed. An exabyte is a billion gigabytes.

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