Akamai CEO: We're entering 'Instant Internet' phase

Akamai CEO: We're entering 'Instant Internet' phase

Summary: Akamai's CEO predicts online video demand will grow 100-fold over the next decade.


SAN FRANCISCO -- Businesses are facing a new digital challenge as we move from the Internet as a novelty to a place where we "win or lose," according to Akamai CEO Paul Sagan while speaking at GigaOm Structure 2012 on Wednesday afternoon.

See also: Panel: Bring applications to big data, not vice versa

In a fireside chat with GigaOm founder and senior writer Om Malik, Sagan asserted most companies are defined by whether or not they are competitive online.

"We're about to enter a phase where we talk about the instant Internet," said Sagan, explaining we started with being extremely patient (on dial-up connectivity) with successive improvements over time.

If you want to be competitive, Sagan warned, basically you must deliver on this concept or your business doesn't have a chance.

"It creates big thresholds of challenge for us to deliver that experience," Sagan acknowledged. "We are promising our customers that we will deliver any content anywhere, anytime."

Sagan added security is the other catch here as "the bad guys are moving in."

He also predicted that video demand will grow 100-fold over the next decade. Thus, Sagan argued that network capacity has to grow dramatically and the architectures supporting them must change to keep up with user demand in both quality and quantity.

Right now, Akamai's network sees almost 2 trillion requests per day with 300,000 hours of content every minute continuously throughout the day worldwide.

But in mobile, expectations have actually lowered as Sagan commented to some laughter from the audience that we've gone from expecting our phones to always work to expecting the call to drop at any time.

"But people are trying to push far more into mobility," Sagan added. "It's overtaking the wired web, PC-browser web."

Topic: CXO

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  • Problem is, it doesn't matter what the demand is.

    "He also predicted that video demand will grow 100-fold over the next decade."

    Problem is, it doesn't matter what the demand is. Supply is limited by funding and logistics.
  • Not affordable under the current telecom oligopoly

    Time Warner, Cox, Comcast, Verizon and AT&T aren't going to make it happen, and because of slanted regulations and crooked politicians, the situation isn't going to change anytime soon. I predict we will see a relatively flat "demand" as telecoms switch to usage-based billing and continue raising the rates. And the US will fall further and further behind the rest of the world in Internet capability.
    terry flores
    • What will slow it down is regulation.

      The problem comes when the big companies "help" the regulators make the rules which cuts out competition. If demand is high people will more supply, and supply in this sector can be had by simply building more infrastructure. The barrier is not really cost, because if the Telecom's are making enough money other people will desire to have part of that action. The barrier is going to be whether the various regulations concerning wireless use and even who can lay physical lines where encourage or discourage competition. If current large companies can encourage a high layer of regulatory cost to the building new infrastructure they will effectively cut out the competition.