Poll Identifies Big Traffic Drivers

Home workers will generate the biggest growth of traffic on the Internet next year, according to Light Reading's December Research Poll.

The poll, which still can be taken by clicking here, aims to pin down what will drive Internet traffic growth next year - in terms of who will be using what applications and what access technology. Here's a snapshot of the results so far:

  • Residential users will generate the biggest Internet traffic growth in 2003, according to the biggest percentage of poll respondents - 33 percent.

  • However, it looks as though a lot of residential users will be working from home, judging by responses to a question on which applications will drive the greatest traffic growth. Thirty percent say business applications, compared to 18 percent for games and 13 percent for video on demand.

  • This conclusion jibes with another survey finding, regarding which telecom services will experience the biggest traffic growth. IP VPNs have so far captured 55 percent of the vote.

  • In terms of which access technologies will carry the biggest growth in traffic, DSL and 802.11 wireless LANs are currently tied for first place, with 28 percent of the votes apiece. Cable follows close behind, with 25 percent, while fiber manages a mere 10 percent.

  • The biggest brake on Internet traffic growth will come from telecom operators not making broadband access available (30 percent) and not investing in their networks (25 percent).

    These results are likely to change as more people take the poll, so take it yourself by clicking here and get the latest status quo.

    — Peter Heywood, Founding Editor, Light Reading
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    rmhlee 12/5/2012 | 12:50:54 AM
    re: Poll Identifies Big Traffic Drivers Why all the boss bashing? Don't folks realize that everybody works for somebody?

    Also, consider that bosses are neither interested nor able to know everything about the challenges individuals face on a daily basis. It IS helpful to be able to SEE people in action into order to get some appreciation. A lot of times, this enables a good boss to help the overworked employee with more resources. At other times, a good boss has to help overworked employees by eliminating those who spend too much time on Light Reading :-)

    Finally, consider that bosses are people too. Many like the same advantages of working at home such as peace and quiet.

    Bashing paints broad-brushed pictures often with little meaningful detail.
    rjmcmahon 12/5/2012 | 12:50:53 AM
    re: Poll Identifies Big Traffic Drivers Why all the boss bashing? Don't folks realize that everybody works for somebody?

    Drucker's "The Post-Capitalist Executive", which can be found in the 1993 Harvard Business Review, gives a good perspective on the role of a "boss" (amongst other things). I'd guess the "boss bashing" is a consequence of assigning people to "management" positions which have yet to learn, appreciate, and practice these insights.

    pipesoflight 12/5/2012 | 12:50:52 AM
    re: Poll Identifies Big Traffic Drivers I can see in my lifetime the need for home base workers growing to a larger degree. Think about the time in the near future when jobs are posted on the internet and persons would bid for the job. They would then be required to meet milestones, while working from home. Video conference calls would replace actually being collocated with other team members. There is a lot of software and design jobs that could be done in this manner provided a high-speed connection allowed users to have access to the tools. We already use consulting companies and outsourcing to have work done. Workers that demonstrated quality work would then be put on their list for future contract positions. The upside could be a reduction in overhead costs for companies (space, computers, insurance, office supplies, furniture, tools, Gă¬).
    The bosses would have to adjust to the logistics issues. The end users may have to use tools remotely or be compensated for the purchase of those tools. Maybe a temporary license could be mailed or downloaded to the contract person and renewed as the company sees fit. This would be very easy to do.
    Rupert_1 12/4/2012 | 9:07:01 PM
    re: Poll Identifies Big Traffic Drivers With ambiguous terms like "traffic growth" what is the value of the poll? What aspect of traffic?

    So-called "business applications" for work from home (i.e. email) may generate more distinct, short connections where little bandwidth is consumed, but it would take weeks of such activity to equal a single VoD transfer of a 2 hour movie.

    And how will DSL carry the biggest GROWTH in traffic? Certainly not PER-CONNECTION, so the poll-takers must infer the poll means total connections. Where will this growth come from? DSL is already available to 70-some percent of the big-3 RBOC's service areas but few subscribe. Why would that change in 2003? Do people know what they are voting for, or is this like political election voting ;o).

    Also, When people vote that IP VPN _as_a_telecom_service will experience the big growth, does this account for the fact that most residential users will simply use their existing DSL or cable connection with soft VPN in the endpoints because that is their corporate IT department's solution? No additional monies go into telecom operator pockets (unless they start charging/enforcing appplication and port filtering, and charging for things they add no value to).
    jgh 12/4/2012 | 9:07:00 PM
    re: Poll Identifies Big Traffic Drivers I agree. DSL is so far behind cable modems for the US residential market, that to get to 28%,that approximately half of the cable users would need to switch to DSL. That is an awful lot of churn.
    Polls are only as good as the questions and the people answering them. It appears that both of these were lacking in both areas.
    It appears that this was another slow day at LR to post this info.
    mpl 12/4/2012 | 9:07:00 PM
    re: Poll Identifies Big Traffic Drivers Without a doubt, P2P currently accounts for the majority of core Internet IP traffic.

    Look at the growth of Kazaa software with over 270M software downloads (approaching 4x that of Napster's peak in March 2001). With 3 to 4 million users, and 600 million files being shared at any point in time, and porn accounting for much of the larger files (10Mbytes and up), P2P is the black horse in IP traffic growth.

    This will be the ultimate driver for core traffic growth going forward. VOD is local access traffic served from a local video server, and should do little for core IP traffic growth. P2P traffic, in many instances, traverses multiple networks and even submarine fiber.
    douggreen 12/4/2012 | 9:06:53 PM
    re: Poll Identifies Big Traffic Drivers Agree with Rupert_1 that business applications may generate more individual applications, but not more traffic than other apps. A single user with a graphic intensive online game could generate more traffic than dozens or even hundreds of business users. Entertainment holds more promise to generate high bandwidth demands.

    The problem is that the business model for DSL/Cable is built around an infrastructure cost that won't support these high bandwidth apps by a large number of people. If everyone starts generating a high utilization of their links via entertainment, the infrastucture choke points will make it slow to a crawl. Will we pay more per-user to have it upgraded?

    There are IMO two major issues in closing this business case. First, there is a disconnect between bandwidth generation and revenue generation. Games, music downloads, free GIF and MPEG downloads generate the bandwidth. Email, internet commerce are low BW users.

    Second, proposals to generate revenue based on applications (gaming, movies, etc.) may promise profits to the content providers, but do nothing
    for the infrastructure provider who must pay to upgrade the network if the stat muxing equations change. If they start charging more for basic connectivity to eliminate the choke points, they get fewer subscribers. Cable providers are in a better position in theory, but they ALREADY are making money on the content via digital cable and seem to be pursuing that path for entertainment content. It works, so why fix it?

    I personally believe there is a way to close the business model. However, I also believe that the people who own the infrastructure are focused on different problems. RBOCs just want to get regulatory relief to offer more connections. Content delievery is not in the equation. Cable providers seem to focused on cable modem for Internet connectivity, but traditional digital cable to deliver entertainment content.
    rjmcmahon 12/4/2012 | 9:06:51 PM
    re: Poll Identifies Big Traffic Drivers I also believe that the people who own the infrastructure are focused on different problems.

    I'd reword this a bit.

    "The people who control our infrastructure have not focused on providing opportunties for solutions."

    It's intersting to note that Atlanta's violation of the clean air act (cause -- suburban sprawl driving hour long commutes) triggers the preemption of more road building. Something like $1.8B in federal road funds still goes to Atlanta. They just can't build more roads with it.

    Why not include telecommuting infrastructure as a candidate for those funds?
    Rupert_1 12/4/2012 | 9:06:50 PM
    re: Poll Identifies Big Traffic Drivers re: Why not include telecommuting infrastructure as a candidate for those funds?

    I wonder how many bosses would actually be comfortable with this. No matter what they say, there seems to be a distrust of employees working remotely (probably because they (the bosses) are no longer needed as full time managers if it catches on). They somehow think your presence at a desk where they can see you correlates to productivity. Only, they'll tell you that it's the teamwork aspect they are concerned about. Apparently you need to see and smell team mates before the team is effective.

    Personally, I've found I work far more hours when I work remotely, and also get things done on weekends.
    rjmcmahon 12/4/2012 | 9:06:49 PM
    re: Poll Identifies Big Traffic Drivers I wonder how many bosses would actually be comfortable with this. No matter what they say, there seems to be a distrust of employees working remotely.

    The "bosses" who manage by objective wouldn't care where (or when) somebody did their job, unless of course, the job responsibilities required us to collocate with fellow assets. (Or required us to climb some utility poles in order to string the fiber.)

    In my opinion, bosses that distrust employees are not worthy of us giving them their power (nor honoring their titles). And I suspect that it's more of a personal ego thing, than it is distrust of employees, that causes too many managers to believe in those mundane, 8'x5', industrial, cubicles. (The irony of that game is that the cattle then fights for an 8'x 8' "office" with a window while the rancher owners roam free on the entire range.)
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