Internet's bandwidth health still in trouble, report says

Demand for Internet bandwidth will exceed supply by 2012, Nemertes says

Nemertes Research continued to throw cold water on the future of the Internet this week, releasing a study projecting that demand for bandwidth on the Web would exceed its capacity by 2012.

The study, which is a follow-up to similar research Nemertes conducted last year, projects that the current global economic recession will only delay rather than eliminate the increased demand for bandwidth the firm predicted last year. Then, Nemertes projected that traffic growth would eclipse supply by 2010, but the firm now says it has adjusted its projections to reflect deteriorating global economic conditions.

Nemertes emphasized it is not projecting that the Internet will crash or shut down altogether. Rather, the typical user probably will experience Internet "brownouts," where such high-bandwidth applications as high-definition video-streaming and peer-to-peer file-sharing will stop performing up to users' expectations, the firm says.

During a presentation at an Internet Innovation Alliance symposium last week, Nemertes analyst Mike Jude said that one consequence of declining Web performance would be that users would look less to the Internet to deliver their desired applications. "More and more applications are coming online that will drive expectations for service quality even higher," he said. "I'm not saying that the Internet is going to crash in 2011, but that people's expectations are going to be throttled. People will stop going to the Internet for those services."

One big reason for the projected growth in traffic is the continuing emergence of virtual workers who work from home or in remote branch offices located far away from companies' central offices, Nemertes says. In particular, these remote workers "expect seamless communications, regardless of where they conduct business" and they "often require more advanced communication and collaboration tools than those who work at headquarters," including videoconferencing and Web conferencing, the report says.

Another factor is simply the large growth in high-bandwidth applications for users to employ. More ISPs in the coming years will follow the lead of such companies as Comcast and AT&T trying out bandwidth caps that will charge extra money each month for heavy bandwidth consumers, Nemertes says. Although Comcast now caps individual bandwidth consumption at a relatively high 250GB per month, average future users will easily reach or surpass that bandwidth limit as they find higher-bandwidth applications to use, the firm says.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags bandwidthNemertes Research

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Brad Reed

Network World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?