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The internet needs to be substantially upgraded in order to keep up with the growing demand of billions of emails being sent on a daily basis and the popularity of sites such as YouTube, an expert has said.

According to a new report from Professor Michael Kleeman of the University of California in San Diego, if the network that carries internet traffic were a "highway" the recent developments would be as if every car owner "had rushed out and traded in their cars for massive 20-wheel trucks".

The recent developments in internet technology now means that users need good broadband connections to be able to benefit from numerous new initiatives, including YouTube as well as the BBC's iPlayer service and Channel 4's new online media applications.

Mr Kleeman's report, entitled 'Point of Disconnect' also revealed that the number of new videos being uploaded onto YouTube each day rose to 65,000 at the start of 2007 from 20,000 at the start of the previous year, with one minute of the average video requiring around ten times as much bandwidth as a voice phone call.

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