Global demand for international bandwidth grew 45% in 2011, driven by increasing broadband adoption in developing regions, TeleGeography estimates.
The research firm calculates that demand has grown at a compound rate of 57% per year since 2007. But on an annual basis, growth is down from 2008, when network capacity increased nearly 70%.
International bandwidth requirements in Asia grew at a CAGR of 55% between 2007 and 2011, ahead of North America (47%) and Oceania.
But the strongest gains in demand came from the Middle East, where international bandwidth usage nearly doubled on a CAGR basis, and from Africa, where it grew 85% annually.
Broadband customer growth has been the primary driver for gains in MEA - as well as in Asia, where broadband subscriptions doubled to 250 million.
But in areas where subscriber growth is slowing, rising average internet speeds are promoting adoption of high-bandwidth applications such as video, which in turn keep capacity demands growing.