The huge demand for a public Internet is forcing providers into developing a two-tiered service, according to Lark Allen, IBM networking director of market strategy. Speaking in Australia and reported by the Canberra Times, Allen said some Internet service providers are over-engineering their services by 3,400% in an attempt to meet peak demands. Even then, most cannot guarantee a connection for all customers, and Allen reckons that a future Internet II must guarantee a faster and more reliable service – albeit at a higher price. More businesses are using video-on- demand across their networks, requiring more and broader bandwidth, and videolinks are being implemented across intranets for corporate training. Allen acknowledges that the demand for network video is still small, but demand for remote access to networks will continue growing and it will be via the Internet and intranet. He says intranets will develop very quickly, primarily as the access channel by which customers are allowed to do business. Network suppliers have focused on developing switching technologies, dedicating specific amounts of bandwidth per user. It delivers faster service than router-based technologies by switching direct traffic without asking where the traffic is going. The downside is that increased numbers of users with industrial strength CPU power and applications means more demand on the network bandwidth. If networks can’t grow, bottlenecks will become more frequent and existing bandwidth could shrink by up to 40% a year, he said. Switching technology, argued Allen, is well placed to handle these future demands. He recommends putting in as much bandwidth as possible, saying that some networks are running 155 megabits-a-second to networked desktops running engineering applications.