The Internet could be about to reach breaking point according to new research by Deloitte.
The report, which was published this week, says that one of the key possibilities for 2007 is that the Internet could be approaching its capacity.
“The unrelenting growth in internet traffic during 2007 may overwhelm some of the Internet’s backbones: the terabit-capable pipes connecting continents", said Igal Brightman, global managing partner at Deloitte.
It is thought, a lack of investment and the growth in heavier data traffic like video downloads and VoIP calls is too blame.
"The impact may be most noticeable in the form of falling quality of service", he said. "Surfers are most likely to be annoyed by the slowdown in service. And it may only take an unexpected upsurge in video usage to turn the inconvenience caused by a drop in access speeds into full-scale consumer dissatisfaction."
In an accompanying report, Deloitte predict that 2007 will be the year for Video on Demand services, however warns that consumers broadband speeds may not yet be up to the task.
"Media companies should consider VOD to PCs as one of a growing number of distribution channels", the report recommended, but stated that "It is not be heralded as a panacea".
While there were an estimated 285 million consumer broadband connections in the world by the end of 2006, only 14 million were regarded as fast enough to support high-quality VOD.
Screen Digest, The media market and research analysis group expects the film download market to be worth £28.9 million by 2009 up from just £400,000 last year.