Internet Traffic Begins to Leave U.S. Behind

Internet_Plug_Globe_iStock.jpgA new New York Times article says that the era of the U.S.-dominated Internet is ending. While Americans created the Internet back in the 1970s, and most traffic flowed through the U.S. during the next thirty years, that’s beginning to change in a major way.

Andrew M. Odlyzko
, a professor at the University of Minnesota who tracks the growth of the global Internet, said in the report, “We discovered the Internet, but we couldn’t keep it a secret,” noting that while the United States carried 70 percent of the world’s Internet traffic a decade ago, he estimates that number has fallen to around 25 percent today.

Meanwhile, some engineers who help run the Internet said in the article that it would have been “impossible for the United States to maintain its hegemony over the long run because of the very nature of the Internet; it has no central point of control.”

All of this points to a decidedly global future for not just the desktop Internet but on cell phones as well—especially given that cell phones have had a head start, due to their greater data and mobile media options available overseas in comparison to the U.S.

(Image credit: iStock/New York Times)