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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, warns Professor Ellis and without radical developments and rapid deployment of alternatives, capacity will be unable to match increasing demands.

According to Professor Ellis, “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.”

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