Nielsen’s Law of Internet Bandwidth is an observation that the bandwidth demand of high-end internet users grows by 50% per year. This means that the amount of data that can be transferred over a high-speed internet connection doubles roughly every 21 months.
The law was first proposed by Jakob Nielsen in 1998. Nielsen based his observation on his own personal use of the internet, as well as on data from other high-end internet users. He argued that the law was driven by a number of factors, including the increasing popularity of streaming media, online gaming, and other bandwidth-intensive applications.
Nielsen’s Law has been largely borne out by the data. In the years since Nielsen first proposed the law, internet bandwidth has continued to grow at a rapid pace. In 1998, the average internet connection speed in the United States was 1.5 Mbps. By 2023, the average internet connection speed is expected to be 100 Mbps.
Nielsen’s Law has important implications for the design and deployment of internet infrastructure. It suggests that internet service providers need to continually upgrade their networks in order to meet the growing demand for bandwidth. It also suggests that businesses and consumers need to be prepared for the continued growth of bandwidth demand in the years to come.
Here are some of the factors that are driving the growth of internet bandwidth demand:
- The increasing popularity of streaming media: Streaming media, such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video, are becoming increasingly popular. Streaming media requires a lot of bandwidth, as it involves transferring large amounts of data over the internet in real time.
- The increasing popularity of online gaming: Online gaming is also becoming increasingly popular. Online gaming requires a lot of bandwidth, as it involves communicating with other players over the internet.
- The increasing popularity of other bandwidth-intensive applications: Other bandwidth-intensive applications, such as video conferencing and large file transfers, are also becoming increasingly popular.
The growth of internet bandwidth demand is likely to continue in the years to come. This is due to a number of factors, including the continued development of new bandwidth-intensive applications, the increasing adoption of high-definition video, and the growing popularity of mobile internet.