The Size of Internet to Double Every 5 Years

Chinese researchers believe that Internet growth can be predicted using a variant of Moore’s Law and that the size of internet (host names) doubles in size every 5.32 years.

January 19, 2009

Moore’s Law is a famous statement by Intel founder Gordon Moore predicting that the number of transistors on a CPU would double every 18 months. This law, that first appeared in 1965, has held true for almost half a century, and now is a model for future predictions of technology trends.

So it’s not very surprising that Chinese researchers now believe that Internet growth can be predicted using a Moore’s Law variant. Based on data collected at six month intervals between December 2001 to December 2006, the researchers claim that the Internet doubles in size every 5.32 years, which although higher than the 18 months of Moore’s Law, represents the same exponential growth pattern.

If one assumes the hostname growth data, released by Netcraft, reflects the growth of the Internet as well, the Internet doubled between April ’00 to July ’01, July ’01 to April ’05, and April ’05 to July ’07; each interval significantly smaller than the 5.32 years that the researchers have come up with.

The full paper titled "Evolution of the Internet and its cores" is available for download as a PDF file.