(Charlie Schoenthaler) Yesterday, 463 joined Cisco at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. as it issued the results of its annual Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecast. The marquee finding was the projected quadrupling of global Internet traffic in the next four years, with worldwide devices and connections growing to nearly 19 billion units.
Doug Webster, vice president of Cisco's service provider group, outlined the study and attributed the exponential traffic growth to an increasing number of devices and Internet users, faster broadband speeds, more video and the expansion of Wi-Fi.
The virtual international forum featured a roundtable discussion hosted by Dr. Robert Pepper, vice president of global technology at Cisco. The panel included a host of international policy leaders weighing in on the findings of the study:
- Diego Molano Vega, Minister of Information Technology and Communications of the Republic of Colombia.
- Kathleen Abernathy, Chief Legal Officer and Executive Vice President, Frontier Communications; and former Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission.
- Kevin McElearney, Senior Vice President, Network Engineering at Comcast
- Daniel Weitzner, Chief Technology Officer for Internet Policy at the White House
Check out the webcast of what they had to say here.
According to Cisco’s Forecast, by 2016, annual global Internet Protocol traffic will reach 1.3 zettabytes - an astronomical figure when compared to the 369 exabytes generated in 2011.
So what do all of these numbers mean?
Long gone are the days in which browsing the Internet required a desk and chair.
Accessing the Internet through mobile devices has become as common as ice in a freezer. “Smart devices”, including TV sets with Internet connections, have given life to an ever-connected society that browses, views, uploads, comments, likes, shares, subscribes, pins, tweets and follows around the clock.
Gone too are the days of movie collections and Blockbuster trips.
Both television and movie viewing have made significant shifts towards online streaming. In 2012, for the first time in America’s history, more films will be watched online than purchased on DVD or Blu-ray. Don’t expect a close race either, over 1 billion more films are projected to be watched online than on discs.
Over the next four years, smart devices and streaming services will serve as the workhorses in fulfilling Cisco’s fourfold Internet growth projection. In the meantime be on the look out for more apps, less discs, and most assuredly, a whole lot of eyes staring at palms.