Vast amounts of data already crosses the internet each day, when you add to that the millions of new users from developing countries we could soon see the internet struggling to keep up with demand.
That's the warning from Pat Gelsinger, chief technology officer at Intel.
"We're running up on some architectural limitations", Mr Gelsinger told delegates at a recent conference. The 30 year old network was never designed to cope with the huge amounts of traffic that we see today, and the situation can only get worse unless action is taken.
Computer chip maker, Intel is researching possible solutions. One idea is to build an overlay, a new network on top of the existing structure. This system would be able to cope with increased traffic and would better defend agains viruses that currenly plague web and email users.
Planet Lab, funded by Intel is a prototype of the new internet and is currently under development. The network connects universities and research labs.