It took four decades, but it happened. More than half of the people on this planet are now classified as internet users. That’s more than 3.6 billion people who connect, surf, stream, buy, sell, work and play online. And that number is more than three times what it was just 10 years ago.
Americans in particular are fixated on being able to have constant internet access. More than 286 million U.S. citizens are online, approaching 90% of the country’s population. The internet has never been in higher demand, until tomorrow, and then the next day, and the next day …
A massive portion of that increase comes in the form of wireless data. The average home today has between 7 and 10 internet-connected devices, used for everything from homework and bill pay to streaming movies and Facebook. According to Statista.com, as of 2015, 52.7 percent of the global mobile phone population accessed the internet from their mobile device. Subsequently, global mobile data traffic is set to surpass 30.6 Exabytes per month in 2020, up from 3.7 Exabytes per month as of 2015. For perspective, one Exabyte is equal to a billion gigabytes.
In 2015, there were more than 228 million smartphones, meaning 70% of Americans owned one. And don’t forget the more than 41 million tablets. According to Benton.org, American’s used 9.6 trillion megabytes of data in 2015, three times the total in 2013. This is the equivalent of consumers streaming 59,219 videos every minute or roughly 18 million MB.
It’s gone beyond the idea that people want the internet, and is getting awfully close to the idea that they need it.
Internet usage shows no signs of slowing down. Wireless providers are testing 5G capabilities, and 4k streaming will strain bandwidth even more in 2017. Over the past four years at Hargray, bandwidth usage has increased over 300%, including 75% in the past year alone. Greater bandwidth and faster speeds are needed to support multiple devices, video streaming, gaming, telecommuting, file sharing and data backups.
To keep pace, we’ve tripled the overall capacity of our core network over the past year. These network improvements have not only increased capacity, but have also enhanced the download and upload speeds provided and the overall quality of service across the network.
It’s important for internet users to understand their usage needs so they can make informed decisions and enjoy the best value. A good place to start is with our Speed Calculator, where you can input your average usage and see how much capacity you need. From there, go to our ‘Manage My Rates’ page where you can find ways to save.