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Broadband networks are set to be put under strain by the latest BBC iPlayer V3 update, according to one optimisation firm.

Blue Coat Systems has claimed that the new social networking features added to the on-demand TV platform could lead to a surge in its popularity.

Speaking to, the firm's Vice-President of Europe, Middle-East and Africa Marketing Nigel Hawthorn cast doubt on the ability of IT networks to cope with this increased demand for streaming services.

He urged network managers to re-evaluate their capacity, infrastructure and policies to ensure that iPlayer content doesn't impact upon other business-critical content.

"From a network manager's viewpoint, iPlayer V3 potentially adds significant new demands to their network infrastructure," Mr Hawthorn stated.

"BBC iPlayer is making the unmissable, unmissable, but network managers need to make sure that their users don't make the network, unworkable."

The platform was initially launched in December 2007, following a successful trial period.

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