1999 could be the year in which the growth of the Internet on "public" backbones while keeping pace with the rest of the telecoms industry slowed down compared to the mad pace it was expanding at when the communications resource first turned commercial in 1995.
This is illustrated in Fig. 1, which presents the evolution of Internet traffic based on measurements at the level of backbone interconnection points in the USA. As it appears, the growth rate, which had peaked at over 1000% in the early stages, was around 150% in 1997-1998 and seems to have slowed down to around 80% for 1999.
A trend evolution for 2000-2005 is extrapolated from historical figures, with average compounded growth rates at nearly 35% (note that the scale in Fig. 1 is logarithmic).