One Way Britain’s Capacity Crunch Could be Solved

19 Jun 15

The Internet is an amazing resource. Just think how today when you travel, you jump in your car, hit your smartphone’s navigation and off you go. Or in an instance you have access to new music, news or recipes. We have information at our finger tips in a moment’s notice to do our job, research information and entertain ourselves. You don’t need to wait for anything anymore. It’s a precious resource and one we need to protect.

But the capacity crunch could put the lifestyle we know and love at risk. The Telegraph reported last month that the Internet is consuming at least 8 percent of Britain’s power output, with the energy demand from data transmission and storage as well as smartphones, laptops and televisions. Demand doubles every four years, according to one estimate.

At the same time optical cables and switches are set to reach their capacity to carry data by the end of the decade, reported the article.

Academics believe we have a “potentially disastrous capacity crunch” upon us. Andrew Ellis, Professor of optical communications at Aston University said to the Sunday Times:

“[Internet consumption] is growing so fast, currently at an exponential rate, that, in theory, it could be using all the UK power generation by 2035. Laying extra cables to take more data is likely to lead to sharp rises in Internet access costs and also the amount of power needed, he said. New cables could quickly reach their limit too, at the current rate of demand. We cannot make all that extra power, so we will have to restrict or reduce access, perhaps by metering consumers so they pay for what they use.”

Internet of Things, Smartphones and Just Internet Connectivity

Now consider how we are only at the beginning of Internet of Things (I0T) completely revolutionizing our lives. Cisco IBSG predicts there will be 25 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2015 and 50 billion by 2020. It is important to note that these estimates do not take into account rapid advances in Internet or device technology; the numbers presented are based on what is known to be true today. Add IoT connectivity of all those devices combined with smartphone usage – 2 billion smartphone users worldwide by 2016 – and then of course business and home connectivity; now we have a global issue.

Scientists fear that even with technical advances that already greatly multiplied the amount of data that can be sent down optical fibers, these cables are reaching the physical limit of what they can take without distorting the signal.

Next Stage in Solving the Capacity Crunch: Look at the Data

What if the solution wasn’t to look at fiber capacity, but instead to look at what we are actually sending down the network? What if each and every app became a bit more responsible in how it looks at data distribution? Would that help to solve the capacity crunch? We think so. Let’s look at this.

When an app user connects to a device, all the information is sent to the person – think stock updates, sports betting odds or the news. When new information becomes available, the back-end again sends all the information for the app – even information that hasn’t changed or is static. But what about the info that didn’t change? Why do you need to resend that info?

Instead, what if you didn’t send it? Consider how much less data you would need to send down the network and therefore how much more network efficient the app could be. Imagine if every app developer took this approach?

Other Ways to Reduce Power

Not only would we use the network more efficiently, but in not sending redundant information, we also save on our hardware footprint. The result? Reduced power consumption by default. Now if you combine this with technology like Push Technology’s Diffusion, the way we cache data, we reduce the process cycles on computer power. And you guessed it, reduced power consumption. And finally, because only deltas are sent as above, more power is reduced.

Data is More than a Currency

Data is more than a currency. It is actually a utility in its own right because information is as important as gas, electricity, water. With Diffusion, we can help you reduce the cost of power to deliver this vital utility. After all, Internet connectivity makes a huge difference in the way we work and live.

To learn more about Diffusion, see how it can benefit you.


The Diffusion Intelligent Data Platform manages, optimizes, and integrates data among devices, systems, and applications. Push Technology pioneered and is the sole provider of real-time delta-data streaming™ technology that powers mission-critical business applications worldwide. Leading brands use Push Technology to fuel revenue growth, customer engagement, and business operations. The products, Diffusion® and Diffusion Cloud™, are available on-premise, in-the-cloud, or in a hybrid configuration, to fit the specific business and infrastructure requirements of the applications operating in today’s mobile obsessed, everything connected world. Learn how Push Technology can reduce infrastructure costs, and increase speed, efficiency, and reliability, of your web, mobile, and IoT application.

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