Internet Gridlock Ahead

Whilst consumers, private or corporate, worry as to whether their Internet Providers can deliver their advertised download speed, many analysts are predicting that serious bottlenecks could occur within the core infrastructure before another five years have passed. The sheer volume of data flooding the internet could at best create a go-slow effect.

I believe that at times we are seeing this “go-slow effect” already. There are times when, regardless of your official speed, downloads are about as fast as they were with a 56k modem.

An analysis conducted by Nemertes Research, an advisory firm that specialises in assessing the business value of emerging technologies, has identified a critical issue facing the Internet and that we must take the necessary steps to build out network capacity or potentially face Internet gridlock that could wreak havoc on Internet services.

Voice and bandwidth-intensive applications such as streaming and interactive video, peer-to-peer file transfer and music downloads and file sharing are redefining the Internet. Wireless devices such as cell phones, Blackberrys and gaming accessories provide consumers ever-increasing access to the Internet, exponentially accelerating consumption of Internet bandwidth, which can lead to a collapse of the service.

So, how will this affect you? If you rely on the internet to access your database, or operate remotely, you may find your capacity to work slowing down. We saw this only the other day when some online databases and storage facilities could not be contacted by the users.

Many people think that keeping everything stored online is the way to go but my advice would be; don't do it. Rather invest in an external hard drive or even more than one and store your data that way if you must keep – and you should – your computer's hard drive slim.

While it may seem a great idea, and there are some little PCs around nowadays that rely on online applications, for instance, my advice, as above, is “don't go down that route”.

Too many services are places online now that could wreak havoc with the Internet bandwidth and therefore its speed. Maybe we must reconsider how we watch TV and listen to the radio and music?

© Michael Smith (Veshengro), March 2008