INTERNET APOCALYPSE UK May 8, 2015 2:18:26 GMT
Post by Anthony on May 8, 2015 2:18:26 GMT
WARNING...the days of unlimited internet access could be numbered.
Industry experts are meeting next week to discuss the growing "capacity crunch" crisis which may cripple the UK's ability to get online.
According to one industry estimate, demand for energy and online data is doubling every four years and if we don't act fast Britain will simply run out of capacity.
A team of leading specialists will discuss the problems at the Communication Networks Beyond the Capacity Crunch conference that begins next Monday.
Speaking about the impending internet crisis one of the organisers, Prof Andrew Ellis, said: "It is growing so fast, currently at an exponential rate, that, in theory, it could be using all the UK power generation by 2035.
"We cannot make all that extra power, so we will have to restrict or reduce access, perhaps by metering consumers so they pay for what they use."
CRIPPLED: Data networks simply can't cope with demand [GETTY]
“We will have to restrict or reduce access, perhaps by metering consumers so they pay for what they use”
And in a stark warning, Professor Ellis added that at the rate consumers are using the web, exisiting cables will reach their data capacity limit by the end of the decade, leading to a "potentially disastrous capacity crunch".
"The internet is already consuming at least 8% of Britain's power output, equivalent to the output of three nuclear power stations, and demand is soaring," he said.
The UK has been investing heavily in supplying better broadband to homes with BT and Virgin Media upgrading many lines to new faster fibre optic cables.
But scientists are suggesting that even these state-of-the-art cables will reach their physical limit because of the rapid increase in popularity of devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops.
Online gaming, movie streaming and catch-up TV is also stretching the UK's internet to its limit.
UPGRADE: BT and Virgin are upgrading their networks to new fibre cables [BT]
Some top industry insiders now believe new measures must be introduced to keen Britain online.
BT's head of optical access, Professor Andrew Lord, who will take part in the conference, said: "It's the first time we have had to worry about optical fibres actually filling up.
"We could expand the network by laying more cables but the economics of that do not work and it would increase power consumption."