The European Commission has inked a €18m research deal with Japan to fund six separate projects that will examine ways of improving networks to allow them to carry more data.
Brussels' officials said there was a "pressing need for new and more efficient networks in light of a massive online data explosion that is expected to continue over the next decade".
The big project - dubbed Strauss - trumpeted by the commission has a remit to build networks 5,000 times faster than the average broadband download speed in Europe of around 20Mbit/s.
That would mean researchers would be looking to push speeds of 100Gbps on fibre optic networks.
The EC noted that the world currently chugs out 1.7 million billion bytes of data per minute and said that the volume of traffic carrying information over the internet had doubled between early 2012 and the start of 2013.
It has been predicted that the figure will leap up twelve-fold by 2018, and the commission is concerned that the capacity of networks could fail to keep up with the demands of all that data flooding in.
The European Union's unelected digital czar, “Steelie” Neelie Kroes, alarmingly noted:
Our Future Internet should know no barriers, least of all barriers created because we did not prepare for the data revolution.
The joint venture between the EU and Japan will include contributions from academic institutions and tech giants such as Telefonica, Panasonic, Fujitsu and Intel. ®