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The UK's broadband network would struggle to deal with demand for new online services, the communications watchdog has warned.

According to Ed Richards of Ofcom, demand for internet TV in particular will put pressure of the UK's broadband infrastructure, prompting him to call for investment in next generation networks to mitigate the problem.

He said: "Today's access network, at some point in the future, will run out of steam as consumers demand faster and faster access. Very few people agree on exactly when this is going to happen but many people do agree it is only a matter of time."

"That's why we see both the opportunity and the drive now for investment in next generation access networks."

Mr Richard's projections come as recent figures cited by the Guardian show that the average speed of UK broadband connections is 4.6 Mbps - some eighty times faster than dial-up connections.

This compares with high-speed networks capable of delivering 100 Mbps which France, Germany, the US, Japan and South Korea have begun investing in.

Use our broadband speed test to find out the speed of your connection and compare potentially faster packages.

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