In what will place huge strains on the net if it comes to pass, the latest Cisco Visual Networking Index is projecting that global Internet traffic will quadruple by 2015 with online video the key driver.

Indeed the Visual Networking Index (VNI) for (2010-2015) also predicts that in five years time one million minutes of internet video will be transmitted per second. This growth will result in what Cisco calls the global online video community increasing by approximately 500 million users by 2015, up from more than 1 billion Internet video users in 2010.

The survey forecasts that by 2015, there will be nearly 15 billion network connections via devices, more than two connections for each person on earth. The huge uptake of tablets, mobile phones, connected appliances and other smart machines is driving up the demand for connectivity.

As an indication of how tablets, smartphones and connected TVs are having on how consumers access and use the Internet, the VNI shows that in 2010, PCs generated 97% of consumer Internet traffic but its share will fall to 87% by 2015. The survey also pinpoints the growing contribution to traffic from connected TV sets with Web-enabled TV connections expected to rise significantly by 2015, representing a tenth of global consumer Internet traffic and 18% online video traffic.

What Cisco calls advanced video traffic—that is 3D and high-definition TV (HDTV)—is projected to increase 14 times between 2010 and 2015.