Internet traffic growth slowed to 53% in 2007

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.

An Associated Press report further said the findings by TeleGeography Research are important because some US 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 US households, but give an indication of wider trends.

TeleGeography said traffic grew 53% from mid-2007 to mid-2008, down from a growth rate of 61% in the previous 12 months, according to the Associated Press report.

Growth on long-haul lines in the US was even slower, at 47%. The big increase came in regions where the internet is less mature. Traffic between the US and Latin America more than doubled.

Meanwhile, international internet capacity on ocean-spanning optical fibers increased 62%. On average, internet traffic now uses just 29% of the available bandwidth.