The growth of Internet traffic is being fuelled by video according to a new report from networking firm Cisco Systems.
Video consumption of the World Cup alone will generate nearly as much Internet traffic as occurred in all of Australia in 2013, the report says, and video is expected to grow to 84 per cent of all Internet traffic in the USA by 2018 from 78 per cent currently.
"In the future at some point every month is going to look like the world cup month because the consumption just keeps getting bigger and bigger," said Robert Pepper, Cisco's vice president of global technology policy.
The increasing primacy of video raises questions about whether Internet service providers should prioritize traffic, which has become a controversial issue as the US Federal Communications Commision debates legislation on Internet traffic, or "net neutrality," that could allow telecommunications companies the right to prioritize some traffic.
Critics of the proposed revisions worry the rules would create "fast lanes" for companies that pay up and slower traffic for others.
But not all Internet traffic will be the same, according to the report. Internet connected medical devices, for example, would have a different data profile than video streaming, but a higher speed urgency.
The report forecasts that, by 2018, online connected machines will take over televisions as the fastest growing connected devices, making up over 46 per cent of Internet traffic, from the current 25 per cent.
"A world in which we want networks to treat all traffic the same will inhibit these connections," Jeff Campbell, Cisco's vice president of government and community relations told Reuters.
"As the FCC looks at rewriting its net neutrality rules, it is important that we allow for things like managed services and specialized services that can provide new applications for consumers."