Domain name registrations dropped for the first time in the history of the Internet during the fourth quarter of last year. Combined with high-profile dot-com failures, telephone company troubles and widespread layoffs, the domain name data prompted some analysts and media outlets to proclaim: “The Internet is shrinking!”

It’s a great headline, but the “incredible, shrinking Internet” is a myth. By every measure of a network’s health – users, connected systems, traffic and applications – the Internet continues to expand at an unprecedented rate. And corporate usage is prompting most of that growth.

“Corporate Internet traffic is not only growing, but growing exponentially,” says Elliot Noss, CEO of Tucows Inc., a Canadian domain name registrar. “As we continue to move toward multimedia…we’re talking about continued exponential growth.”

Despite the worst economic downturn in a decade, Internet growth during 2001 was strong in all areas: