The UK’s communications infrastructure may be incapable of handling the demands of the populace, Schroders has said.

James Gautrey, Global Sector Specialist for Technology and Telecoms for the asset management company, pointed out that if just one-third of UK households were to sign in to Netflix and watch House of Cards and Breaking Bad, the nation’s bandwidth would be exhausted.

Currently, Netflix has just 1.5 million British subscribers, but accounts for one-fifth of all peak internet traffic, he added. Facebook, YouTube and Netflix alone represent gigabytes of data, which is delivered almost immediately to a wide range of different connected devices, Mr Gautrey noted.

But it’s not just online streaming services that could strain the UK’s internet networks; mobile internet traffic has increased by 100 times since 2008 – when smartphones became widely available – with Cicso speculating that this demand is to triple between now and 2018.

However, Mr Gautrey explained that corporate bodies are doing their best to deal with these challenges, with Google, Amazon and other internet giants changing their IT architecture to enable them to deploy computing resources when required without being limited by cost, implementation time and location. Facebook managed to reduce its server costs by 35% within one year after amending its proprietary systems, for instance.

The move to cloud computing is also helping businesses manage the explosion in internet demand; Mr Gautrey suggested that almost all software will be delivered through the cloud in the next one or two decades. Cloud computing can often have better security provisions than a firms’ in-house computing equipment, with cloud company Workday reporting that it has experienced no data breaches since it was first established in 2005.

Therefore, IT changes will occur in both homes and workplaces, and in both emerging and developed nations, with Mr Gautrey predicting “IT metamorphosis in every corner” over the coming years.

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