- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 4, 2003

SINGAPORE, March 5 (UPI) — The volume of Internet traffic generated by end users worldwide will nearly double annually over the next 5 years, increasing from 180 petabits per day in 2002 to 5,175 petabits per day by the end of 2007, the market intelligence firm IDC predicted Wednesday.

To put these figures into perspective, the entire printed collection of the Library of Congress amounts to only 10 terabytes of information. By 2007, IDC expects Internet users will access, download, and share the information equivalent of the entire Library of Congress more than 64,000 times over, every day.

"Some industry observers have speculated that slowing growth in Internet traffic is at the root of the current telecom malaise, but IDC research shows that not only is Internet traffic growth strong, but it will continue at near triple digit rates over the next five years," said Sterling Perrin, senior research analyst, Optical Networks, at IDC.

This has some interesting implications for telecommunications equipment suppliers, particularly in the optical market.

"As long as the total amount of voice and data traffic on the network continues to increase, then the need will arise for carriers to buy equipment, such as next-generation optical," said Perrin.

The IDC study finds that though growth in the number of Internet users will continue to be an important traffic driver, the migration of those Internet users to bigger access pipes will be even more significant.

In particular, broadband adoption by consumers around the world will make this the fastest growing and largest segment in terms of Internet traffic volume generated. By 2007, IDC believes consumers will account for 60 percent of all Internet traffic generated, versus roughly 40 percent for business users. Mobile Internet users are expected to have only a minimal impact on overall traffic volume during the forecast period.

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