UK Researchers warn Internet could collapse by 2023

UK Scientists warn that Internet could face a ‘capacity crunch’ within the next eight years and consume the entire Britain’s power supply by 2035, suggest rationing Internet in near future to avoid capacity crunch

A recent study by the UK researchers state that by 2023 Internet would have reached a ‘capacity crunch’ status as the cables and fiber optics delivering the data to users would reach its maximum limit.

Scientists have further warned that cables and fiber optics will not be in a position to take data from a single optical fiber and this will be the major cause of Internet collapse. The cables and fiber optics are responsible for relaying information to our computers, smartphones, laptops etc.

What are optical fibers? They are transparent strands that bears the thickness of a human hair; the information first gets transformed into light and is sent down the optical fiber and it then gets transformed back to information.

As per a recent report by Daily Mail, some of the leading engineers, physicists and telecom firms have been notified to attend a meeting scheduled to be held at London’s Royal Society on May 11th, majorly to discuss precautionary steps that needs to be taken to avert web crisis.

Professor Andrew Ellis, of Aston University in Birmingham and a co organizer of the Royal society meet told the Daily Mail: “We are starting to reach the point in the research lab where we can’t get any more data into a single optical fiber. The deployment to market is about six to eight years behind the research lab – so within eight years that will be it, we can’t get any more data in.”

He further added: “Demand is increasingly catching up. It is growing again and again, and it is harder and harder to keep ahead. Unless we come forward with really radical ideas, we are going to see costs dramatically increase.”

As a remedy the Internet companies can put down additional cables however that would mean a direct proportionate increase in the bills. As per researchers this would not be of much help because it could either lead to a situation wherein users would end up with an intermittent internet service or they will be forced to pay a double bill for the internet service providers.

Professor Ellis also warned saying : “That is a completely different business model. I think a conversation is needed with the British public as to whether or not they are prepared to switch that business model in exchange for more capacity.”

With the Internet collapse another major issue that needs confrontation is the Power supply. To cope with the ever increasing Internet demand vast amount of electricity is also required because to transfer data a huge amount of electric supply is a must. So as the speed of the internet increases that again means a direct increase in the amount of power supply. Well that could mean we would end up with our Power supply by 2035.

Pointing out this scenario Professor Ellis added: “That is quite a huge problem. If we have multiple fibers to keep up, we are going to run out of energy in about 15 years.”

As per the study it has been found out that about 16 percent of total power in UK is consumed by Internet and the number seems to be getting double almost every four years. On a global level the total power usage for internet is about two percent.

Further an overall boom in the internet television, streaming services and powerful computers all have added their share in increasing the strain on the infrastructure of communications.

It has been observed that the broadband internet had a maximum speed of 2 Megabits per second just a decade ago in 2005. In just 10 years there has been mind boggling change and today 100 Megabits per second download speeds is available in many parts of the globe.

This indicates the engineers have always kept themselves well ahead of the demand and have successfully increased the internet speed by 50 times over last 10 years.

Some researchers are very optimistic and they feel that there certainly would be some solution available for this issue. Professor Andrew Lord, head of optical research at BT and a visiting professor at Essex University told Daily Mail that the answer to this ‘capacity crunch’ can be met by keeping the data in large ‘server farms’ rather than transferring it.

Professor Lord said: “The internet is not about to collapse. It has a lot of bandwidth left in it.”

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Maya Kamath
Maya Kamath
Content writer with unending love to pen down my thoughts and views regarding the new technological inventions as well as probe into the current affairs. Feel as if i am free bird who can actually live life at my pace.


  1. That is interesting. 🙂

    Cisco invented nexus 9k capable for moving tons of data… I am really doubting that we run out of the capacity…
    for example we have invented DWDM to utilize single fiber optic cable with different wave lenght in the same wire… who knows what we will invent within 1 year.

  2. If you ask me, I would say it won’t happen.
    Coz, The more and more people use Internet, Big Companies will start putting cables.
    So every year the number of cables will also increase.

    Don’t fear, It won’t happen 🙂

    • yaa what about the power supply then, until find some mind blowing source like nikola tesla’s power tower you cant put up with the demand and even if you find that there will again be bigger issues because of that like too much heat would be generated data transfer efficiency would degrade and even this might end up in data loss ie the data you requested wont reach you completely.


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