Using miracle material graphene in telecommunications could make the internet a hundred times faster, according to scientists.

Graphene is just one atom thick but remarkably strong. Scientists have said it would take an elephant, balanced on a pencil, to break through a single sheet.

Dubbed a miracle material due to its strength, lightness, flexibility, conductivity and low cost, it could now dramatically improve telecommunications.

Physicists at the universities of Bath and Exeter say the response rate of an optical switch using "few-layer graphene" to be nearly 100 times quicker than current materials.

Dr Enrico Da Como, from the University of Bath, said this had "exciting applications for the development of high speed optoelectronic components."

Professor Simon Bending, at the University of Bath, added: "The more we find out about graphene the more remarkable its properties."