The World Wide Web has reached a critical point, warns Nemertes Research in a new report, which claims that increased online traffic will likely result in slower and more unreliable Internet connections for Web users in the near future. According to the report, available bandwidth could be eaten up by traffic to and from services such as the iPlayer and Web sites such as YouTube as early as 2010. Experts say this will result in computers being disrupted and going offline for several minutes at a time.
The report comes on the heels of warnings earlier this year from the University of Warwick's Martin Cave and the Open University's Richard Collins that the rapid growth in Internet traffic could make the "best-efforts" model — in which Internet service providers (ISPs) try to carry all the data they can handle to their destination — impractical. Cave and Collins found that about 10 percent of users accounted for about 80 percent of Internet traffic. They noted that one way ISPs can deal with this issue is by introducing different levels of quality of service so that users can decide how much quality of service they want to buy.
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