Cisco forecasts that global internet protocol traffic will grow three-fold by 2017, by which time it expects there will be 3.6 billion internet users, or nearly half the projected population of the world. Nearly 70% of all consumer internet traffic will be video, with the equivalent of 5 million years of video viewing crossing the internet every month. These are just some of the staggering statistics provided by Cisco in the latest update to its global forecasts for internet traffic.

By 2017, Cisco forecasts there will be more than 19 billion global network connections, up from around 12 billion in 2012. The average internet household will have over seven network connected devices, generating almost 75 gigabytes of internet traffic a month, up from around 30 gigabytes in 2012. The average consumer broadband speed will be almost 40 megabits per second.

There will be nearly 2 billion online video users worldwide by 2017, up from around a billion in 2012.

In 2017, more traffic will traverse global networks annually than in the entire period from 1984 to 2012.

Nearly half of all internet protocol traffic will be generated by devices other than personal computers, including tablets, smartphones and televisions.

Internet video to television traffic is forecast to increase nearly five times between 2012 and 2017, by which time over 60% of online video is expected to be in high definition.

The relative traffic share of online video on personal computers is forecast to decline from 88% in 2012 to 57% in 2017. By then, the number of mobile video users will surpass the number of fixed online video users, at 2.0 and 1.9 billion users respectively.

These figures are among the highlights in the Cisco Visual Networking Index Forecast, which provides detailed breakdowns by country and type of traffic.

“Cisco’s VNI Forecast once again showcases the seemingly insatiable demand for bandwidth around the globe and provides insights on the architectural considerations necessary to deliver on the ever-increasing experiences being delivered,” said Doug Webster, the vice president of product and solutions marketing at Cisco. “With more and more people, things, processes and data being connected in the Internet of Everything, the intelligent network and the service providers who operate them are more relevant than ever.”

Looking at the forecast for the United Kingdom, internet traffic is expected to double over the period, rising to the equivalent of around a million DVDs an hour. Video will account for around 70% of all consumer internet traffic, up from around 57% in 2012. Every month will see 110 billion minutes, that is over 200,000 years, of video cross networks in the United Kingdom, which is over 40,000 minutes of video streamed or downloaded every second.

The Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecast (2012-2017) is available online and provides drill down statistics by region and category of traffic.