A conference in Kilkenny has heard that the internet is rapidly approaching overload and that it was never designed to handle the number of people currently using it.

Miguel Ponce de Leon of Waterford Institute of Technology made his comments at the third annual meeting of the Irish Future Internet Forum in the Kilkenny Parade Tower, Kilkenny.

Mr Ponce de Leon is Chief Technologist with the Telecommunications Software & Systems Group (TSSG) in WIT.

The event is jointly hosted by the TSSG and Invest Kilkenny on behalf of the Irish Future Internet Forum.

Mr Ponce de Leon said it was critically important Ireland engages fully in the conception and development of the future internet to ensure the sustainable growth of its ICT sector.

'In the current economic climate, Ireland is facing a crucial junction in the path of Future Internet development, research and education.

'A thriving IT sector has been created in Ireland, but without further investment in more advanced infrastructure and services we could adversely affect the growth of new industry and direct investment.'

More than 100 delegates are attending the event, which addresses the threats to the future of Ireland's smart economy and consider ways in which to protect Ireland's position as a leading ICT research hub.