The global internet backbone was worth $8.3bn in 1998 and its value will rise to an estimated $19.4bn by 2002, according to research by market analyst, Datamonitor. The figures account for all ISPs, carriers and IP infrastructure provision. The US accounts for $3.9bn or 47% of the 1998 total, according to Datamonitor, with this expected to fall to 36% by 2002. Europe can expect its share of the total market to grow from 24% to 31%. But the report warns of the danger of the market being dominated by a few big players such as MCI Worldcom Inc, Sprint Corp and Cable & Wireless Plc, predicting industry self-regulation to ensure the development of fair peering mechanisms. The reportÆs other major finding is that new wide-band technologies will drive internet data transfer costs down to less than half a percent of the current cost, or $300 per terabyte in 2003 compared to $80,900 per terabyte in 1998.
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