It should come as no surprise: the big and fat video files are one of the main reason why the bandwidth glut created by overbuilding in the telecom boom of 1990s is evaporating. The good news is that the demand for bandwidth is not going to end any time soon.
A report released by Cisco Systems (CSCO) predicts that consumer-related traffic running over IP networks is going to grow at a compound annual rate of 58 percent from 2006 to 2011, and will end up totaling 17 exabytes per month by 2011.
Cisco sees peer-to-peer traffic as a major component of the consumer internet traffic, even though it will decline from current 50% to 39% of the total. According to Network World:
Internet video streaming and downloads will grow from 9 percent of all consumer Internet traffic in 2006 to 30 percent in 2011.
Internet video-to-TV will increase by more than a factor of 10 from 2007 to 2011.
Internet video-to-PC will increase by a factor of four. Internet video-to-TV will exceed Internet video-to-PC by 2009.
The reports’ findings are consistent with predictions that bandwidth to the home will increase manifold, with 20 megabit per second connections becoming common place by end of the decade. It also indicates that the world might finally get to see HD video over the web.
Just to keep things in context, you should discount some of these forecasts because Cisco makes a living by selling gear such a router, switches and storage systems that benefit from this growth in traffic. Such a report could boost the demand for its products.