Thanks to the boom in handheld devices like tablets and smartphones, a new survey from Cisco Systems finds that by 2016, there will be almost 19 billion business and consumer internet connections — or 2.5 such connections for every person on earth.

Doug Webster, a Cisco vice president, said that in four years, internet traffic volume will likely be measured for the first time in zettabytes — or one trillion gigabytes — and that traffic that year will likely be four times greater than it was in 2011, with India, Brazil and South Africa expected to have the fastest rates of growth.

What’s responsible for the dramatic rise? More devices and more people using them, plus more available bandwidth. In addition, we’re all growing increasingly reliant on the internet for entertainment — like bandwidth-hogging video — and business purposes.

[Bloomberg]