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ComputerWire: IT Industry Intelligence

The growth of the internet is slowing in terms of the capacity of its cross-border backbones, and the financial crisis facing the carrier industry is mostly to blame, according to TeleGeography Inc, a Washington DC-based research firm.

The company said that in 2002 the growth rate of international bandwidth slowed to 40%. In every year since the early 1990s, the amount of bandwidth being deployed has at least doubled, the report said.

TeleGeography said that the internet's maturity in Europe, which accounts for more cross-border traffic than anywhere else, was the biggest contributor to the slowdown. Capacity increased 35%, compared to 191% in 2001.

According to the report, Europe has 909,159Mbps of cross-border bandwidth, the US and Canada 381,904Mbps, Asia 78,584Mbps, Latin America 26,287Mbps and Africa 2,118Mbps. Latin America saw the greatest slowing, with 65% growth versus 471% in 2001.

"Much of the global deceleration came as a result of corporate financial distress, with bankruptcies leading to partial or complete network shutdowns," said Alan Mauldin, senior research analyst at TeleGeography.

"Considering how much bandwidth was taken offline by companies like Energis, Carrier1, KPNQwest, and Teleglobe, it's amazing that international Internet capacity grew at all," he added.

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