- - Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The boom in the number of mobile Internet devices and tablet computers in use will help quadruple Web traffic in the coming years, a study said Wednesday.

The Cisco Visual Networking Index said global Internet traffic by 2016 will be 1.3 zettabytes. A zettabyte is one trillion gigabytes, or one sextillion bytes.

That will be four times the level of traffic generated in 2011, according to Cisco, and comes from a proliferation of tablets, smartphones and other devices that use the Internet.

By 2016, the forecast projects there will be nearly 18.9 billion network connections, or nearly 2.5 connections for each person on earth, compared with 10.3 billion in 2011.

It also cited United Nations estimates that there will be 3.4 billion Internet users by 2016, or about 45 percent of the world’s projected population.

MICHIGAN

GM expected to unveil deal with soccer club

DETROIT — General Motors is preparing to announce a marketing deal between Chevrolet and the Manchester United soccer club.

A deal with Manchester United would be significant for Chevrolet. The club claims to be the most popular sports franchise in the world. Its fan base has doubled in the past five years to 659 million people - nearly one-tenth of the world’s population.

GM wouldn’t give details about the announcement, but said it has scheduled a press conference with the United Kingdom-based soccer club on Thursday in Shanghai, the center of GM’s largest sales market. GM’s marketing chief also is expected to announce a “global sports marketing initiative” in Detroit on Thursday morning.

CALIFORNIA

Facebook HQ expansion OK’d by city council

MENLO PARK — City officials gave Facebook a unanimous ‘like’ in approving the social media giant’s plan to expand its San Francisco Bay headquarters to employ thousands more people less than two weeks after going public.

The Menlo Park City Council approved the environmental impact report and development agreement for the company’s expansion project at its meeting on Tuesday night.

Under the deal, Facebook will be allowed to employ about 6,600 workers at its sprawling headquarters, up from the current limit of 3,600 employees that was placed on the campus’s previous occupant, Sun Microsystems. Facebook currently has about 2,200 employees at the site.

In return, Facebook will pay the city an average of $850,000 a year over 10 years to cover the impact of the additional workers on city infrastructure, and make a one-time payment of more than $1 million.

FRANCE

Unemployment goes up for 12th month in a row

PARIS — French unemployment rose for the 12th month running in April, with the number of registered job seekers up by 4,300 at 2.888 million, the labor ministry said on Wednesday.

The figure, the first released since President Francois Hollande took office, showed a 0.1 percent rise in job seekers, down from a 0.6 percent rise in March, the ministry said in a statement.

The data refers to a period during which former President Nicolas Sarkozy was still in office.

Mr. Hollande vowed to tackle rising joblessness during the election campaign that saw him defeat Mr. Sarkozy.

On June 7, the national statistics office Insee is to publish an unemployment rate for the first quarter of 2012, expected to be about 9.7 percent of the workforce.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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