Internet traffic will reach one zettabyte in 2016

Global internet traffic will reach a new high this year, passing one zettabyte for the first time. That’s according to internet infrastructure company Cisco, which reveals that traffic has increased fivefold in the last five years.

One zettabyte is the equivalent of 909,494,701.773 terabytes - or nearly a trillion gigabytes. Or, as the Telegraph works it out, around 667 trillion movies, or approximately 152 million years-worth of HD video. In short, it's a lot of data - that 2GB download limit on your mobile ain't looking so generous now, is it?

Plus the amount of traffic is only going to keep increasing - Cisco reckons that it will double again by 2019. Most traffic will continue to come from fixed broadband connections, but mobile data will grow rapidly at an average rate of 57% a year.

That can be attributed to the continued proliferation of smartphones, tablets, smartwatches and other connected mobile gadgets. By 2020, 5.5 billion people will have a mobile device, and by 2020 more people will have mobile phones than essential utilities like running water or electricity.

A huge amount of the increased data will come from online video, including catch-up TV services like BBC iPlayer and on-demand services like Netflix. This year alone, Cisco estimates that streaming video will account 41% of all internet data, and by 2019 that will rise to 54%.

The research also predicts that fixed broadband speeds will increase in the next three years. In 2014, the average broadband speed globally was 20Mb, but by 2019 it will have increased to 43Mb.

Source: Digital Trends

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