"Even if [applications] do use the open Internet, do they in fact need priority to function?" Wood added by email. "Or do Cisco and the ISPs just want to make a buck by selling priority?"
Some Cisco predictions of Internet traffic, including predictions of a video-driven "exaflood" haven't panned out, Wood said.
"What expertise [Cisco's past predictions] give them in assessing the supposed need for the company's own proprietary deep packet inspection and priority routing tools, I certainly don't know," he said.
Some predictions from Cisco's latest report:
— Global IP traffic will increase by a 21 percent compound annual growth rate between 2013 and 2018, from 51 exabytes a month to 132 exabytes per month.
— U.S. IP traffic will growth by a 20 percent compound annual growth rate, despite the fact that most U.S. residents are already online. That growth will be driven by new devices, including tablets and Web-connected high-definition television sets, Cisco said.
— IP video will be 79 percent of all IP traffic by 2018, up from 66 percent in 2013.
— Machine-to-machine devices, while having relatively small traffic demands, will make up 47 percent of the IP-connected devices in the U.S. in 2018, compared to just 25 percent in 2013. There will be 7.3 billion connected M2M devices worldwide by 2018.
— Wi-Fi and mobile-connected devices will generate 61 percent of IP traffic by 2018, with Wi-Fi at 49 percent and traditional cellular at 12 percent. Wi-Fi's percentage was 41 percent, cellular was 3 percent and fixed broadband was 56 percent in 2013.
— By 2018, there will be nearly 21 billion global network connections, up from about 12.4 billion connections in 2013.
— Global broadband speeds will reach 42Mbps by 2018, up from 16Mbps at the end of 2013.
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