Half of the world's workforce will continue to be hampered by inadequate Internet bandwidth despite the widely-reported excess of optical fibre.
Researcher GartnerGroup warned that the roll-out of new fibre will be concentrated around major metropolitan areas, leaving the rest of the globe to cope with ever decreasing capacity.
Jay Pultz, a research director, at Gartner, said: "Fibre-optic technologies will cut the price of bandwidth by half over the next five years, but as firms virtualise and staff work remotely they will find that infinite bandwidth is a myth."
Even developments such as digital subscriber line and cable modems will not meet the demands of home workers, he said.
Gartner said WAN traffic will increase between 10 and 20 times over the next five years and LANs will be three to five times bigger.
Enterprise networks will have to support 20 per cent increases in the global workforce over the next five years, and will also have to embrace new users such as consumers as well as application service provider-type resources. But network budgets across organisations will double by 2003 to support this, Pultz said.
But he warned against using one carrier to provide global infrastructures because the more control they have, the bigger the penalties are if network problems occur.
He believes the battle between ATM and IP is over as they have separate uses. ATM helps efficiency of expensive bandwidth, but IP is best deployed where the cost is less of an issue.
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