Calix report finds video streaming drives rural internet traffic

On Wednesday, Calix Inc released a report based on analysis of data aggregated from 45 U.S. communications service providers, which provides new insights into Internet application and usage patterns among rural Americans.



On Wednesday, Calix Inc released a report based on analysis of data aggregated from 45 U.S. communications service providers, which provides new insights into Internet application and usage patterns among rural Americans.


According to Calix (Petaluma, N.J., USA) as service providers prepare for an all-video world, it is not surprising to see video streaming was the dominant broadband-enabled application among eight categorized applications. Video streaming accounted for 67% of downstream Internet traffic and 13% of upstream traffic in the studied networks. Large content distribution networks (CDNs) such as Level3, Limelight, and Akamai — which carry video content from sites like Netflix and YouTube — accounted for 80% of all streamed video traffic. In terms of upstream traffic, business services generated the most, accounting for 53% of all upstream traffic.


Report data was drawn from actual Internet traffic monitored in U.S. service provider networks from the fourth quarter (October through December) of 2011, says Calix.


The report also found that service providers that offer Internet services exclusively over fiber access networks saw subscribers generate over 2.67 times more traffic than service providers that offered Internet services over copper-based networks.


The top five percent of subscribers in the rural U.S. networks studied used more than 100 GB of downstream traffic a month, and accounted for approximately 50% of Internet traffic, says Calix.


Application use varied across different regions of the U.S. in Q4, according to the report.  In the west, video was streamed more heavily than other regions, while the Southeast played more online video games.  The Northeast part of the U.S. shopped online more heavily than other regions, while the Midwest used business-oriented services in the home more frequently.