Nemertes Research has been checking out usage patterns and monitoring bandwidth usage for a while now, and their conclusions are rather alarming if you believe them: by 2012 the internet as it stands will pretty much max out on bandwidth. Readers of tech sites like this one are probably not too surprised about the increasing need for bandwidth in applications, games, and services — but unfortunately nobody at Comcast reads CrunchGear (actually, they do, but still). The need for bandwidth development has been clear for a long time, but like other major data service providers (Verizon for instance), they’ve decided to max out the old tech before investing in the new stuff.
The result is that the infrastructure is growing slower than the demand, and the latter will overtake the former in a couple years. Decentralizing data transfer (torrents, mirrors) is helpful in spreading the burden, but in the end it takes the same amount of bits to make a video no matter how you send them, and we’re maxing out on how many are capable of being transfered per second. The solution? No one knows, but I guarantee your bandwidth is going to be capped soon, so enjoy the good life while you can.