The internet could be on the brink of a 'capacity crunch' that would force us to rethink the way we use it, according to Professor Andrew Ellis of Aston University's School of Engineering and Applied Science.
Current technologies will reach their limits within the next eight years, Professor Ellis will warn in a talk at Lightfest 2015 at the Library of Birmingham this Friday, and without radical developments and rapid deployment of alternatives, capacity will be unable to match increasing demands. Professor Ellis said: "Demand for internet capacity keeps soaring, and we're now reaching the point where it's increasingly difficult to stay ahead of that demand using current approaches. It's incredible we've managed to stay ahead this long, but now researchers are finding they just cannot fit much more data down traditional fibre optic lines.
"Soon, unless we increase costs by deploying more fibres, we may need radical changes to the way we either use or distribute data if we are to overcome this capacity crunch. We should start having the conversation now--are consumers willing to accept higher charges for increased bandwidth or can we be more considered about the capacity we consume? Will we lay additional cables, or will we look to the likes of Netflix to help us manage demand?"
Professor Ellis is speaking as part of a whole day of events...