As the flood of data across the internet continues to increase, there are those that say sometime soon it is going to collapse under its own weight. But that is what they said last year.
Web traffic in the 90s was much smaller than today
Back in the early 90s, those of us that were online were just sending text e-mails of a few bytes each, traffic across the main US data lines was estimated at a few terabytes a month, steadily doubling every year.
But the mid 90s saw the arrival of picture-rich websites, and the invention of the MP3. Suddenly each net user wanted megabytes of pictures and music, and the monthly traffic figure exploded.
For the next few years we saw more steady growth with traffic again roughly doubling every year.
But since 2003, we have seen another change in the way we use the net. The YouTube generation want to stream video, and download gigabytes of data in one go.
Being in the web and streaming media server industry for the past 5 years, I know only too well the impact that the recent "broadband revolution" is having on the internet.
Capacity and bandwidth increases can not keep up with the increasing demand of users. Its always been my argument about people wanting 100Mbps connections and the like - we could all have stupidly fast connections, but that doesnt mean we can download from a server at faster then 250KB/s, so its a completely pointless technology.
Years ago the majority of my streaming media customers chose to stream at 24 - 48Kbps, with the advent of broadband many are streaming at higher then 128Kbps, some as high as 512Kbps.
Fortunatly for me I am at a datacentre that has invested and expanded its carriers heavily to ensure it has enough IP transit to server its customers and I have no problems keeping up with the ever-increasing demands of my customers, but most other datacentres, including the ones which house my UK and US servers, are starting to struggle.
Its only going to get worse in the next few years, a LOT worse, so remember that the next time you bitch because Japan and the US have 100Mbps connections - theres NO point at all in it.BBC News Report