Internet congestion? Blame it, apparently, on online video's spectacular growth

Cisco's Visual Networking Index forecasts that video, which already eats up more Internet bandwidth than any other content, could make up half of all traffic this year and nearly two-thirds by 2015.

In fact, Cisco cites in its latest update of Cisco VNI Global IP Traffic Forecast, 2010-2015, that increasing video consumption as one of four IP traffic growth drivers; the others are more devices, more users and faster broadband speeds.

The VNI predicts global traffic will grow four-fold to 966 Exabytes (that's 966,000,000,000 GB and just a scooch less than a zettabyte) by 2015 as some 40 percent of the world's population, or about 3 billion souls, hop online, an increase of 200 Exabytes from 2014 (in 2010, traffic on the Internet totaled less the 200 Exabytes).

And, watch out data caps, the average global IP traffic per capita will more than triple from 3 GB to 11 GB in 2015.

Doug Webster, a senior director of worldwide Cisco service provider marketing, said the network will have to be increasingly intelligent to handle the burgeoning load, especially since video is "significantly harder to deliver."

Other highlights from the update:

  • Globally, IP traffic will grow four-fold from 2010 to 2015, a compound annual growth rate of 32 percent.
  • Globally, IP traffic will reach 80.5 Exabytes per month in 2015, up from 20.2 Exabytes per month in 2010.
  • Global IP networks will carry 2.6 Exabytes per day in 2015, up from 664 Petabytes per day in 2010.
  • Globally, IP traffic will reach an annual run rate of 965.5 Exabytes in 2015, up from an annual run rate of 242.4 Exabytes in 2010.
  • Global IP traffic in 2015 will be equivalent to 241 billion DVDs per year, 20 billion DVDs per month, or 28 million DVDs per hour.
  • In 2015, the equivalent of an archive of all movies ever made will cross Global IP networks every 4 minutes.
  • Globally, IP traffic will reach 11 Gigabytes per capita in 2015, up from 3 Gigabytes per capita in 2010.
  • Globally, average IP traffic will reach 245 TBps in 2015, the equivalent of 204,100,000 people streaming Internet HD video simultaneously, all day, every day.

For more:
- see this report
- see this MultichannelNews article

Related articles:
Internet traffic soars on news of Osama bin Laden's death
Study: Netflix makes up nearly one-third of downstream Internet traffic
Online video: 1 billion users and growing