User-generated content and the growth of services such as YouTube and Joost could cripple the internet, Google has warned.

At the Cable Congress in Amsterdam head of technology for Google, Vincent Dureau, said “the web infrastructure, and even Google’s [infrastructure] doesn’t scale. It’s not going to offer the quality of service that consumers expect.”

This follows a report from Deloitte Research, which predicts that the internet will struggle to cope with the demands placed upon it this year, resulting in bottlenecks in some of the net’s backbones.

As well as the growing amount of user-generated content on the web, growth in the number of internet users worldwide, plus the increase in video-chat traffic, are at the root of the problem.

Deloitte’s report predicts that in February 2007 daily traffic will be two petrabytes per day, which is equivalent to one trillion pages of standard printed text and one petrabyte more per day than in February 2006.

In addition, the report says that “over a third of all internet traffic in 2007 is expected to be in the form of mostly illegal, peer-to-peer video”. It predicts that the quality of services such as streaming video could suffer as ISPs struggle to keep up with demand.