Markus Hoffman, head of Bell Labs, in a recent Scientific American article states that at we are approaching something called the Shannon limit, which is basically synonymous with being maxed out on the amount of internet traffic.
He predicts that a doubling of existing traffic levels will happen happen in the next 4-5 years. Since the internet is just a tad over 40 years old, and now we’re doubling in 4 years’ time, this represents exponential growth.
The two solutions being talked about are 1) Add infrastructure (more fiber and satellite networks), and 2) make the infrastructure smarter by using deep packet inspection to interpret the significance of the data before routing, the latter being more likely.
Interesting stuff. I can see where this could get very political due to access to my data when I need it ( priority ) and also for security reasons.