This morning George Gilder and I released a paper called "Estimating the Exaflood: The Impact of Video and Rich Media on the Internet."
We examine a range of new network technologies and software applications that are driving innovation -- and, crucially, traffic -- on the Internet.
We find that the U.S. Internet will grow at least 50-fold by 2015. Broken down by application, we project:
-- movie downloads and P2P file sharing could be 100 exabytes
-- video calling and virtual windows could generate 400 exabytes
-- â€œcloudâ€ computing and remote backup could total 50 exabytes
-- Internet video, gaming, and virtual worlds could produce 200 exabytes
-- non-Internet â€œIPTVâ€ could reach 100 exabytes, and possibly much more
-- business IP traffic will generate some 100 exabytes
-- other applications (phone, Web, e-mail, photos, music) could be 50 exabytes
Total U.S. IP traffic in 2015 will therefore reach 1,000 exabytes, or one zettabyte, which is equal to one million million billion bytes, or 50 million Libraries of Congress.
Driving and accommodating this surge will be huge investments in new fiber-optic networks. Global Internet investment over the next three years could total $137 billion, and U.S. investment by 2012 could reach $100 billion.