May 25, 2022

Cisco Releases Latest Internet Usage and Data Forecast, Nearly Half the World’s Population Will Be Connected to the Internet by 2017

From the Latest Cisco’s Visual Networking Index Forecast:

The Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecast (2012-2017), published today, projects 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.)


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).

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

Globally, the average fixed broadband speed grew 30% from 2011 – 2012, from 8.7 Mbps to 11.3 Mbps.
Increased Global Use of Video Services/Applications

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.

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.

By 2017, more traffic will traverse global networks than all prior “Internet years” combined

Wi-Fi and mobile-connected devices will generate 68% of Internet traffic by 2017.

By 2017, 3D and HD Internet video will comprise 63% of consumer Internet video traffic.

Read the Complete Summary

Read the Complete Report (15 pages; PDF)

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About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.