Soaring traffic rates from streaming video and connected devices will push annual internet traffic to nearly one zetabyte over the next five years, according to Cisco.
The company said that its latest forecasts have projected internet traffic to quadruple by 2015, reaching as high as 968 exabytes. An exabyte is one billion gigabytes.
Much of the growth has been credited to the increased use of mobile handsets and other connected devices.
"There will be two networked devices per capita in 2015, up from one in 2010," said Cisco in the latest Visual Networking Index report.
"Driven in part by the increase in devices and the capabilities of those devices, IP traffic will reach 11GB per capita in 2015, up from 3GB in 2010."
Cisco estimates that there will be 23.6 million people online by 2015 in the UK alone, and that traffic for western Europe will reach 18,858 petabytes (PB) a month.
Around 8,515PB of this traffic is expected to come from streaming internet video services, which are expected to grow by 57 per cent over the next five years.
The explosion in data will be mirrored by a dramatic increase in mobile traffic. Cisco predicted earlier this year that mobile data loads will reach 75 exabytes a year in 2015.
The latest forecasts maintain that position, predicting monthly traffic to grow to roughly 6.3 exabytes a month.
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