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Topic: Internet Growth Ending?
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Jerry P. Becker

Posts: 16,576
Registered: 12/3/04
Internet Growth Ending?
Posted: Feb 10, 1999 9:24 PM
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From Science (AAAS), 15 January 1999, Vol. 283, No. 5400, p. 295

Net News

An End in Sight for Internet Growth?

Nearly every country in the world now has an internet domain name,
according to the latest version of a history of the Net. The dizzying rise
in computers linked to the Net continued last year, but at least one
observer predicts that the spurt has peaked, and growth may level off by

Hobbes' Internet Timeline v4.0, written by Robert Zakon of the MITRE Corp.
in McLean, Virginia, in his spare time and posted on the Internet Society
Web site, charts everything from the genesis of ARPAnet (the Internet's
predecessor, started in 1969) to an e-mail sent by Queen Elizabeth II in
1976 and the launch of the java programming language in 1995.

Among 1998 highlights are a hack that replaced The New York Times home
page, the trial in China of a man who gave e-mail addresses to a U.S.
magazine, and the debut of domain names for two small island nations, Nauru
and Comoros. That leaves just three countries still unregistered: Western
Sahara, North Korea, and Bangladesh. Zakon also charts the Net's growth, up
to more than 35 million hosts, or computers connected to the Internet.

Mario Hilgemeier, a physicist and programmer in Bremen, Germany, has tried
to estimate where the Net is headed by fitting an S-shaped curve to the
host data, by now linear rather than exponential. He finds the Net grew
fastest in 1997, and after 1999 may taper off, reaching around 42 million
hosts in 2002. Hilgemeier, however, cautions against putting too much faith
in any predictions. For one thing, adds Zakon, electronic devices like Palm
Pilots and cell phones may soon have their own host names, adding a new
growth spurt.

[Not shown here is the S-shaped curve depicting Hosts (in millions).]

Jerry P. Becker
Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction
Southern Illinois University
Carbondale, IL 62901-4610 USA
Fax: (618)453-4244
Phone: (618)453-4241 (office)

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