Bandwidth crisis – YouTube today uses as much bandwidth as web in 2001

23 Oct 2008

The world is facing a bandwidth shortage and scientists are endeavouring to find new ways to expand capacity. YouTube currently uses the same bandwidth capacity as the entire internet in 2001.

Scientists at the Tyndall National Institute in Cork have joined forces with BT to conduct world-leading research into advanced optical networks and photonics to help the world stave off this mounting bandwidth crisis.

The onset of IPTV and bandwidth-hungry services like high-definition TV and video on demand will see traffic increase 100-fold by 2018.

Future Human

As part of the collaboration, BT has provided access to nearly 900km of fibre-optic cabling.

This, the Tyndall Institute said, will help bridge the gap between innovation and commercial application.

The fibre network is looped between the Photonic Systems Lab at the Tyndall Institute in Cork city and Clonakilty, and will be used for trials of novel photonic techniques to efficiently transport data at high bit-rates over extended distances.

BT’s design team from Adastral Park has worked closely with Tyndall to ensure the activities are not only world-leading but reflect commercial goals.

“It is the type of public-private partnership that will help deliver on the Irish Government’s ambition to be internationally renowned for the excellence of its research,” said Chris Clark, CEO, BT Ireland.

The Tyndall-based Photonic Systems Group, which is supported by Science Foundation Ireland, was originally based at BT’s Adastral Park before being moved to Cork five years ago.

“We can validate the technologies we have developed, and equally importantly, the collaboration can confirm our belief that lower-cost, flexible, energy-efficient networks have real commercial benefits,” explained Dr Andrew Ellis, head of the Transmission and Sensors Group at Tyndall Institute.

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years