Analysts believe consumer demand for more Internet bandwidth is going to exceed supply as early as next year as telecom companies aren't investing enough in capacity. They believe that by 2012 the Internet could face traffic jams that last a whole day, one of the prime reasons of this is the massive growth of bandwidth-hungry websites such as YouTube and services like BBC's iPlayer. For instance, the amount of bandwidth consumed by YouTube a month is equivalent to the amount of traffic generated across the entire Internet in all of 2000.
It will initially lead to computers being disrupted and going offline for several minutes at a time. From 2012, however, PCs and laptops are likely to operate at a much reduced speed, rendering the internet an “unreliable toy”.
When Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the British scientist, wrote the code that transformed a private computer network into the world wide web in 1989, the internet appeared to be a limitless resource. However, a report being compiled by Nemertes Research, a respected American think-tank, will warn that the web has reached a critical point and that even the recession has failed to stave off impending problems.