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The Internet is growing faster than ever, with traffic doubling every six months.

That's according to a survey by networking startup Caspian Networks through the first quarter of this year, based on data gained from carriers under non-disclosure agreements.

Since 1997, Internet traffic has been growing by a factor of 2.8 per year so the study suggests a marked acceleration in growth. But this is disputed by some in the industry.

The findings of the survey run counter to some opinions, that suggest that Internet traffic might be shrinking but Caspian suggests that these reports have confused growth in carrier revenue with growth in traffic. Alternatively people looked only at the capacity of networks and not the traffic flowing through them.

Of course, the survey by Caspian is designed to paint a favourable picture for the projected growth of the networking infrastructure market, which is currently in the doldrums.

That said: we agree with Caspian that Net traffic is expanding, just think of the bandwidth sucked up by porn sites alone.

The real question is how alternative carrier and networking hardware firms can capitalise on this expansion, and that's proving a real puzzle for the whole industry. ®

Related Stories:
US Net use increases
Germans out-sauce Brits in porn hunt
Cost of Net access to rise in Europe

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