LONDON, May 7 /PRNewswire/ -- A British computer software research company may have solved the growing problem of the Internet slowing down.

The software, called C-THRU is in the final stages of production, at Bubblephone Ltd, based at the University of Sussex Innovation Centre, near Brighton.

Experts predict that demand for Internet bandwidth, already growing at 60% a year, will start to exceed supply from as early as next year because of more people working online and the soaring popularity of bandwidth-hungry websites such as YouTube and services such as the BBC's iPlayer. The volume of traffic generated each month by YouTube is now equivalent to the amount of traffic generated across the entire Internet in all of 2000.

The company originally planned to build a piece of software that would join up lots of different telephone networks, hence the name, but soon realised its software could solve problems effecting Internet traffic flow and reliability.

If you imagine a congested road, full of traffic running through a High Street, said company Managing Director, Sean Curtis-Ward, then C-THRU is the bus lane that allows essential traffic to move along the road, without obstruction. We don't make the road wider, we just make sure that there's always a route open regardless of how bad the traffic is.

The software was invented by Tom Flavel and Jonathan Turrall, two former students of Artificial Intelligence at the University of Sussex.

C-THRU has enormous potential for anyone running time sensitive services over the Internet such as telephony, streaming TV and financial transactions. It works by constantly testing the internet connection, then adapting itself to always keep open the best possible connection, said Turrall. The user is oblivious to this - all they experience is a perfect, rock solid connection.

This ability to adapt itself on the fly also enables C-THRU to connect different computer systems that previously could not talk to each other. Only now are we beginning to grasp the commercial potential of all this, said Curtis-Ward.

With the right backing C-THRU could be in production in less than a year, just at the time when experts say the slowdown will start.

It's really is very exciting. This has the potential to put the UK at the forefront of the battle to preserve the Internet, said Turrall.

For further information contact:

Sean Curtis-Ward. Telephone: +44-(0)20-7617-7206

For further information contact: Sean Curtis-Ward. Telephone: +44-(0)20-7617-7206