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Nearly half the world’s population will be on the Internet by 2017

Published Jun 14th, 2013 8:45AM EDT
Worldwide Internet Traffic

Networking company Cisco estimates that Internet traffic will grow three-fold between 2012 and 2017 to reach an annual run rate of 1.4 zettabytes, more than a trillion gigabytes per year. The firm expects traffic to reach nearly 121 exabytes per month by 2017 — equal to 30 billion DVDs, 28 trillion MP3’s or 750 quadrillion text messages — and an increase from 44 exabytes per month in 2012. Roughly 3.6 billion people worldwide are expected to access the Internet by 2017, or around 48% of the world’s projected population. In 2012, 2.3 billion people worldwide used the Internet, accounting for nearly 32% of the world’s 7.2 billion people. Cisco also estimates that the average fixed broadband speed will more than double from 11.3Mbps in 2012 to 39Mbps in 2017. Unsurprisingly, non-PC Internet traffic is expected to reach 49% in 2017, up from 26% in 2012.