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If you think life’s techie now, consider this: By ’17, more IP traffic will traverse global networks than all prior “Internet years” combined. That’s just one of the eye-popping stats in Cisco’s annual Visual Networking Index.  

 
The Cisco forecast projects that global Internet users will hit 3.6bln, nearly half the world’s projected population, by 2017. Global IP traffic will grow three-fold between ’12 to ’17, ramping up to an annual run rate of 1.4 zettabytes. And video will be a big contributor, with the VNI predicting users will generate 3 trillion Internet video minutes per month. That’s equivalent to 6 million years of video per month.
 
In the US, the VNI puts the IP traffic compound annual growth rate at 23% during the 5-year period. IP traffic in the US will be equivalent to “111 billion DVDs per year, 9 billion DVDs per month, or 13 million DVDs per hour,” the forecast said. Internet video traffic will be 72% of all Internet traffic in the US, up from 62% last year. In the United States, 341 billion minutes of video content will cross the Internet each month in 2017, up from 190 billion in 2012.
 
As cable ramps up its WiFi offerings, it’s worth noting the VNI’s projections for the service. While fixed WiFi was 28% of all IP traffic in the US last year, it’s expected to jump to 41% in ’17. Wired will go down, from 70% of total IP traffic in ’12 to 54% in ’17. And while 1GB speeds are all the talk these days, Cisco’s forecast pegs average broadband speed in the US at 38Mbps in ’17, up from 12.9 Mbps in 2012. Still, everyone should get faster, with 93% of broadband connection faster than 5Mbps in ’17 (compared to 64% today). 

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