Will The Internet Collapse in 8 Years?
Yesterday I read this interesting article on how experts fear that the Internet may completely collapse in 8 years.
The author cited some other research and studies completed in the UK that looked at the amount of data being pushed, mostly due to streaming media services and the rise of mobile Internet, and concluded that fiber is nearing it’s capacity to carry traffic.
It’s an interesting theory, given how much bandwidth everyone seems to consume (or seems to want to consume) with so much streaming media and SaaS out there among those tubes that make up the Internet. As someone who works for an independent carrier, I am seeing more clients start to choke their connections much faster than in years past. I’d guesstimate that 10-12 years ago it may take a number of years for a client to realize their 1.5M T1 was no longer sufficient for their network. Now, I’m seeing clients increase their Metro Ethernet fiber connections in 10M increments a few times a year.
While the article gives views on both sides of the issue (nearing collapse vs. “nah, we’ll just keep upgrading and inventing new ways to transport data”), I think that the article ignores the rapid growth of wireless bandwidth and transport.
We know that Google is working on some wireless projects that could provide ultra-high speed services, and technology companies such as Redstone have been working on gigabit wireless technologies as well. Much of the press has been about how new wireless tech could provide high speed Internet to consumers, but that same technology can also be used for bandwidth transport on the carrier side as well.
So while it may be true that traditional landline based services might be slowly approaching a chokepoint, technology increases as well as alternative technologies like wireless will almost definitely provide more alternatives for consumers and carriers alike.