Wired and wireless broadband traffic will surge from 9,665 petabytes a month in 2010 to a 116,539 petabytes in 2015, according to IDC data.
And that traffic is likely to stretch networks to their limits.
According to IDC, Web browsing, peer-to-peer file sharing, streaming audio and video and applications will drive bandwidth consumption. As networks are built out, consumption of services will increase. In other words, it's unclear how much bandwidth will be enough.
IDC reckons that HD video content will drive bandwidth demand and 50 percent of audio and video streaming will be headed to connected TVs, tablets and mobile devices. In North America, downstream traffic will flow downstream at a 10:1 ratio.
Web browsing as a percentage of traffic is falling around the world, but Europe and Asia are showing the largest drops.