NEW YORK (AP) -- International Internet traffic kept growing in the last year, but at a slower rate than before, and carriers more than kept pace by adding more capacity, a research firm said Wednesday.
The findings by TeleGeography Research are important because some U.S. Internet service providers say they are struggling with the expansion of online traffic, and are imposing monthly download limits on heavy users. The figures from TeleGeography don't exactly correlate to average Internet usage by U.S. households, but give an indication of wider trends.
TeleGeography said traffic grew 53 percent from mid-2007 to mid-2008, down from a growth rate of 61 percent in the previous 12 months.
Growth on long-haul lines in the U.S. was even slower, at 47 percent. The big increase came in regions where the Internet is less mature. Traffic between the U.S. and Latin America more than doubled.
Meanwhile, international Internet capacity on ocean-spanning optical fibers increased 62 percent. On average, Internet traffic now uses just 29 percent of the available bandwidth.
TeleGeography research director Alan Mauldin noted that the number of new broadband subscribers has been falling since 2001, but that the overall increase in Internet traffic remains high because of the increasing demand for online video.