Conclusions in TFA (The Fine Article) make sense.
I remember in College, back in the Dark Ages of the 1970's. Communications Theory. That has been known since the late 1940's.
For any system, at the bottleneck points there is a saturation level. When you try to get higher throughput, it saturates the bottleneck, and the throughput either breaks down, or slow substantially.
Ever been stuck in traffic? If so, then you have experienced this effect.
Ever tried to run a large Database on a Windows box? Slowdown and crashes happen.
For every system there is a limit to the communications that can be throughput.
The Internet works by having a massively parallel structure, but every Node on the Internet can only connect to a limited number of other points. The number of connections maintainable has risen as our technology has improved, but there are limits at each step of the way. Sorry guys, that's not because of software or system design, it's a basic result of physics. We can't get unlimited performance out of any foreseeable hardware. Software will always be limited to something less than the limitations of the hardware. There are limits.
This study was about the power system, but it applies to all systems. There is going to be some point of maximum benefit. Trying to go beyond that point will be largely an exercise in frustration. It will only be by changing the physical network that further expansion will be practical. That's the bad news.
The good news is that the current Internet isn't at that point. Yes, it is beyond the capacity of 1990. But, we have changed the parameters of the Hardware. We've even outgrown the capacity of the software from the 1990's. (TCP/IP V4) That's why we are moving slowly to IP V6. but V6, while 'infinite' for today's hardware will also be outgrown someday. Until, that is, our hardware reaches the real physical limits. Only then will we be stuck with no further performance improvements.
Research labs have already reached the physical limits. we know what they are. Fortunately, we probably won't be there for around 10 to 20 years.
Diamond semiconductors, Graphene, circuit elements that consist of fewer than 20 atoms. All these things have been done. Just not economically or reliably. That will come in the future. It'll be fun to see.
I wonder what we will be doing with Petabyte thumb drives and 1000 processor tablet systems?
My Grand-kids will be finding out.