Nielsen’s Law of Internet Bandwidth


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Nielsen’s Law of Internet Bandwidth states that a user’s connection speed grows by 50% per year. The interesting law was presented by Jakob Nielsen of the Nielsen Norman Group. The law was presented in 1998 and was updated in 2008 and 2019, based on his own connection speed’s growth. In 1998, Nielsen observed that his connection speed grew by 53% and by 49% in 2008 and 2019. He then rounded off the number to 50%. The law apparently holds true for high-end users. 

The law is quite similar to the popular Moore’s law, which states that computers double their capabilities in every 18 months. Comparing the two laws however, points out that the growth of bandwidth is slower compared to that of computer power. There are many reasons behind this, mainly infrastructure reasons. The bandwidth growth is correlated with an increased infrastructural and economical risk for the telecom companies. Hence telecom companies are very careful about it. Another reason is spending more money for increased bandwidth is what people generally are reluctant about. The ever increasing user base also poses a major challenge regarding it.

The law though provides an insight to how our internet consumption has grown over the years and how it will continue to do so. The possibilities my friend, are endless!


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Professor

The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer. In addition, my thoughts and opinions change from time to time I consider this a necessary consequence of having an open mind. My posts on Domain Magazine are intended to provide a semi-permanent point in time snapshot and manifestation of the various memes running around my brain, and as such any thoughts and opinions expressed within out-of-date posts may not the same, nor even similar, to those I may hold today.

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