The increased popularity of video on demand services like the BBC iPlayer are putting a massive strain on broadband services.

This is according to new research from uSwitch, which is claiming that more and more UK surfers are coming close to or exceeding their broadband usage limit.

And, says the research company, only some of us know about the usage caps, where internet service providers limit the amount of bandwidth users can have in any given month, but nevertheless don't really understand them.

uSwitch argues that ISPs need to do more to educate their customers, especially those companies who will cut customers off for going above their limit.

"With so much reliance on broadband, having the service disconnected could feel to someone as serious as having their electricity cut off", said Tim Wolfenden, spokesman for uSwitch.

He added that 56% of broadband providers who advertised services as "unlimited" did impose usage caps and only two out of the nine actually said what these limits were.

Unsurprisingly when uSwitch turned its attention to the customers, it found that 80% of UK broadband customers either wrongly thought that they had an unlimited broadband package or did not know what their limit was.

"Broadband companies should not be allowed to class their packages as unlimited if they are not", said Mr Wolfenden.

"As providers aren't choosing to be fully transparent about this issue people need to be savvy when choosing their broadband and pay close attention to the small print."