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$100 billion. That’s an estimate of how much the world’s 3.3 billion cellphone users spent to send 1.7 trillion text messages last year—more than Hollywood’s worldwide box-office receipts, global music sales, and U.S. video-game and PC-game sales combined.

In fact, those movie, music, and gaming revenues will come to only about half the US $130 billion that short message service (SMS) will bring in this year, according to the market research firm Informa Telecoms & Media.

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Why the Internet Needs the InterPlanetary File System

Peer-to-peer file sharing would make the Internet far more efficient

12 min read
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Carl De Torres
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When the COVID-19 pandemic erupted in early 2020, the world made an unprecedented shift to remote work. As a precaution, some Internet providers scaled back service levels temporarily, although that probably wasn’t necessary for countries in Asia, Europe, and North America, which were generally able to cope with the surge in demand caused by people teleworking (and binge-watching Netflix). That’s because most of their networks were overprovisioned, with more capacity than they usually need. But in countries without the same level of investment in network infrastructure, the picture was less rosy: Internet service providers (ISPs) in South Africa and Venezuela, for instance, reported significant strain.

But is overprovisioning the only way to ensure resilience? We don’t think so. To understand the alternative approach we’re championing, though, you first need to recall how the Internet works.

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