The End of the Internet?

By JR Raphael
Contributing Writer, [GAS]

Okay, so we made it past the doomsday of Y2K…but now, another technological apocalypse is on the way. At least, if you believe AT&T.

A company exec has started quite the buzz by predicting we’ll reach the end of the internet by the year 2010. CNET News reported the warnings from AT&T’s vice president of legislative affairs, Jim Cicconi, made during a London-based eForum this week.

“We are going to be butting up against the physical capacity of the internet,” CNET reports Cicconi claiming.

The exec’s reported comments go on to say the ever-increasing amounts of high bandwidth content, such as videos and other multimedia streams, will reach a point that’s higher than the current internet infrastructure can handle. And his statements get even more extreme, going as far as claiming that within three years, “20 typical households will generate more traffic than the entire internet today.”

Of course, Cicconi goes on to mention how AT&T is spending billions of dollars to upgrade its systems to stay ahead of the curve.

So is this a real threat, or is it just another Y2K-esque conspiracy theory? Let’s weigh it against other 2010 predictions floating around the net right now:

  • Religious author Roderick C. Meredith says the world could end altogether in under two years. Better back up your data.
  • Others interpret biblical texts to believe a worldwide holocaust will come that same year.
  • In a slightly less deadly prediction, business expert Dave Chase foresees Google as becoming the world’s biggest ad agency by 2010.
  • Back in the late 80s, Apple put out a promo showing the computer of the year 2010. The video is worth a watch.
  • Audience-measuring giant Nielsen sees valet parking and metal detectors at grocery stores by 2010.
  • And, slightly later, the geek classic Back to the Future 2 had a grand vision for the year 2015. I, for one, am still hoping it happens.

Do you buy the “end of the internet” theory, or any of the other predictions above? Or maybe you have some insight of your own? The floor is open for discussion. And if your premonition includes the hoverboard, for the love of God, let me know where it’ll be sold.

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