The exponential growth of content over the Internet could result in a major slow down in coming years, suggests a study by Nemertes Research Group.

An excerpt from VNUnet:

“Our findings indicate that core fibre and switching/routing resources will scale nicely to support virtually any conceivable user demand,” said the Nemertes report.

“But Internet access infrastructure, specifically in North America, will cease to be adequate for supporting demand within the next three to five years.”

“We estimate that the financial investment required by access providers to ‘bridge the gap’ between demand and capacity ranges from $42bn to $55bn, or roughly 60 to 70 percent more than service providers currently plan to invest.”

The full report by the group is available here.

The slowdown could seriously impact the next generation of media rich online services, not to forget that it will also be a set-back to businesses. A much greater fall out would be the division created among those who can afford faster services and those who can’t.

Only last month, Dr. Lawrence Roberts had mentioned that a bottleneck would soon emerge as router technology will not be able to cope with the multiplying rate of traffic. This is a serious concern, considering that Dr. Lawrence was the leader of the team that designed the ARPANET, the world’s first packet-based network, a precursor to the Internet.

Are greater innovations in routing technology an immediate concern or will vested interests ensure technology matches capacity?