Half the world will be on the world wide web by 2017

Cisco’s Visual Networking Index forecast projects nearly half the world’s population will be connected to the Internet by 2017

The Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecast (2012-2017), has projected that global Internet protocol (IP) traffic will grow three-fold between 2012 and 2017.

Global IP traffic, fixed and mobile, is expected to reach an annual run rate of 1.4 zettabytes - more than a trillion gigabytes per year - by 2017. On a monthly basis, global IP traffic is expected to reach nearly 121 exabytes per month by 2017, up from about 44 exabytes per month in 2012.

121 exabytes is equivalent to 30 billion DVDs; or 28 trillion MP3's; or 750 quadrillion text messages.

More Global Internet Users

By 2017, there will be about 3.6 billion Internet users - more than 48% of the world's projected population (7.6 billion). In 2012, there were 2.3 billion Internet users - about 32% of the world's population (7.2 billion).

By 2017, there will be more than 19 billion global network connections (fixed/mobile personal devices, M2M connections, et al.), up from about 12 billion connections in 2012.

Globally, the average fixed broadband speed will increase 3.5-fold from 2012 - 2017, from 11.3 Mbps to 39 Mbps.

Global network users will generate 3 trillion Internet video minutes per month, that is 6 million years of video per month, or 1.2 million video minutes every second or more than two years worth of video every second.

Globally, there will be nearly 2 billion Internet video users (excluding mobile-only) by 2017, up from 1 billion Internet video users in 2012.

In 2012, 26% of Internet traffic originated with non-PC devices, but by 2017 the non-PC share of Internet traffic will grow to 49%. PC-originated traffic will grow at a 14% CAGR, while other devices/connections will have higher traffic growth rates over the forecast period-TVs (24%), tablets (104%), smartphones (79%), and machine-to-machine (M2M) modules (82%).

As global service providers build out the Next Generation Internet, nearly half of the world's population will have network and Internet access by 2017. The average Internet household (globally) will generate 74.5 gigabytes per month. By comparison, in 2012, the average Internet household generated 31.6 gigabytes of traffic per month.

The Forecast also reveals that the "Internet of Things" - the networked connection of physical objects - is showing tangible growth and will have a measurable impact on global IP networks. Globally, M2M connections will grow three-fold from two billion in 2012 to six billion by 2017. Annual global M2M IP traffic will grow 20-fold over this same period - from 197 petabytes in 2012 (0.5% of global IP traffic) to 3.9 exabytes by 2017 (3% of global IP traffic). Applications such as video surveillance, smart meters, asset/package tracking, chipped pets/livestock, digital health monitors and a host of other next-generation M2M services are driving this growth.

"Cisco's VNI Forecast once again showcases the seemingly insatiable demand for bandwidth around the globe and provides insights on the architectural considerations necessary to deliver on the ever-increasing experiences being delivered. With more and more people, things, processes and data being connected in the Internet of Everything, the intelligent network and the service providers who operate them are more relevant than ever," Doug Webster, vice president of product and solutions marketing, said.