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Cisco finds social networking and video eat bandwidth


October 21, 2009
By Anthony Capkun

October 15, 2009

According to a new Visual Networking Index (VNI) Usage research effort by Cisco, service provider networks are carrying a significant amount of visual networking traffic, with more than one-third of the average global broadband connection supporting video, social networking and collaboration applications each month. The research reveals some interesting facts:

Globally, the average broadband connection (primarily residential
subscribers and some business users) generates approximately 11.4
gigabytes of Internet traffic per month. Per connection per day, this
amount is roughly equivalent to downloading 3000 text emails, 100 MP3
music files or 360 text-only e-books.

The average broadband connection (again, globally) consumes about 4.3
gigabytes visual networking applications (advanced services such as
video, social networking and collaboration) traffic per month. Per
connection per day, this amount is roughly the equivalent of about 20.5
short-form Internet videos or approximately 1.1 hours of internet
video, whether streamed on its own, embedded in a webpage, or viewed as
part of video communications.

Meantime, the top 1% of global subscribers generated more than 20% of
all traffic, while the top 10% of global subscribers generated more
than 60% of all traffic.

In contrast to television prime time, internet ‘prime time’ spans from
about 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. in an average day over the reported quarter
around the world. 25% (or 93.3 megabytes per day per connection) of
global internet traffic is generated during this period. A peak
internet hour has 20% more traffic than a non-peak hour, averaging
about 18 megabytes of traffic per connection (per hour).

“The Cisco VNI Usage study reinforces that IP networks and the internet
are essential platforms for global communications, and that consumer
usage of advanced services is a key driver of Internet growth,” said
Suraj Shetty, vice-president, service provider marketing, Cisco.

The research effort is a cooperative program between Cisco and a group
of more than 20 service providers worldwide who share their anonymous,
aggregated network usage data to help them analyze network usage
trends, anticipate infrastructure changes, and develop future
architectural guidelines.

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