In a report to be published later this year, analysts with Nemertes Research warn of cyberspace capacity limits that could reduce Internet usage to the status of an “unreliable toy” by 2012.
The report predicts that Internet users will soon face regular “brownouts” that will freeze their computers. With consumer demand climbing exponentially at 60 percent every year, peak usage is just around the corner. Growing numbers of web-based businesses and bandwidth heavy websites like YouTube and Hulu are cause for concern
Nemertes intends to signify the limits of what was once thought to be a limitless resource, stating that the web has in fact reached a critical stage that not even a global recession can slow down. While telecom companies are spending upwards of 50 billion dollars per year to upgrade cables and supercomputers to amplify capacity, sites like YouTube are throwing forks in the gears (YouTube generates the same amount of traffic every month that was generated over the entire web in all of 2000).
Analysts refer to such traffic in exabytes – a quintillion (or a million trillion) bytes or units of data. One exabyte is equivalent to 50,000 years’ worth of DVD-quality data. Now, traffic across the web is running at about eight exabytes per month.
Internet users can expect “waves of disruption” by 2010 that will freeze computers and reduce them to slower speeds according to experts. This raises red flags for Internet commerce, data storage, and especially the electronic transfer of medical records. The report will warn that by 2012 web traffic jams could last as long as a full day.
Image: "Firefly Supercomputer (22)" by Travelin' Librarian on Flickr courtesy of Creative Commons Licensing.
Story via The Sunday Times of LondonTweet