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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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    Packet Man 12/4/2012 | 9:06:23 PM
    re: Poll Identifies Big Traffic Drivers While none of the list below are new applications, many are still strangers today when it comes to the Internet. Some have taken root already and are closer to critical mass than others. None, as an individual app, will be consider the "killer app" but all together will drive substantial traffic at all layers of the Internet (A, D, & C)

    My 'new apps' list:
    Building security systems
    TV
    View on demand Movies
    Internet Radio and audio entertainments
    Public Hotspots
    Corporate video
    Distributed computing systems
    IP Telephony, including wireless IP
    Too many to count Peer-to-Peer applications
    SCADA0
    Automation Systems
    E-Commerce
    Medical monitoring system
    Automobile remote diagnostics systems
    Modern highway monitoring systems.
    Modern digital libaries replacing book libaries
    etc
    etc
    etc, just use your imagine.

    In another ten years or so, our children who have never known life without the Internet, will become the next generation of worker and consumer. You will then see a significant 'bump' on the traffic growth charts. There are also numerous countries that still have little Internet access. As these countries come on-line this will add another 'bump' on the traffic charts.

    Here's a long shot.....GPS gets perfect and miniaturized. A GPS in implanted into every human, automobile, plane, train, etc etc etc, and with the aid of wireless and Mobile IP good ole 'Big Brother' can monitor everything. :o)

    But of course by then we will have OC-49152 and we are right back where we are today....not enough traffic and too much competition to make a 'healthy' profit.

    PM
    VK 12/4/2012 | 9:06:29 PM
    re: Poll Identifies Big Traffic Drivers Couldn't agree more with Douggreen.

    To add to the discussion from technology perspective, out of the applications voice, data, video, audio etc..., excepting for the pure data applications, the rest of them need end-to-end guaranteed bandwidth for quality of experience. Doesn't that sound like the quality of good old telephone networks but at orders of magnitude higher bandwidth. This end-to-end guaranteed BW may be offered by either real or virtual circuits is dependant on which side of the fence you are on.

    Given that there is plenty of availabile BW, the issue becomes much cheaper "right-sized" switching than what is offered today.

    The content irrespective of the application, may be travelling in packet form but end-to-end guaranteed BW (in the form of right-sized circuits) is the key for both end user experience and carrier revenues. Of course, this should happen at much lower cost.

    I dare say those days are not far away!
    Sofa-kingdom 12/4/2012 | 9:06:33 PM
    re: Poll Identifies Big Traffic Drivers litemyfiber: "I get less done [at work], but I spend a lot more time sharing the kind information with my peers that cannot readily be put in an email."
    -------
    Depends on your job, and even the stage of a particular project, but even if daily touchy-feely interaction is necessary, half a day working from home and the other half in at work can be infinitely more productive. It also forces you to plan better. What works for me is to take that half day in the middle of the day (when to/from traffic is much lighter). That cuts about 40 minutes off drive time.

    litemyfiber 12/4/2012 | 9:06:43 PM
    re: Poll Identifies Big Traffic Drivers RJ;

    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.)
    _________________________

    Your post is typical of your idealism but does the rest of us who work for such "bosses" no good. They make the rules, end of story. It may be backward and ultimately self defeating for the organization, but the bottom line is such people are protecting their own turf, a big part of which is controlling resources and delegating responsibilities. "Knowledge workers" can certainly do without the daily visit to the office, but the office has a place as well. I get less done there, but I spend a lot more time sharing the kind information with my peers that cannot readily be put in an email.
    I think the most undersold part of giving all of ones users the ability to telecommute is for disaster recovery purposes. This would also include personal disasters, sick leave, sick kids, elder care, etc...
    No company/management in their right minds should doubt the value of disaster recovery after 9-11-2001.
    After all anything can happen anytime, right?
    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.)
    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 | 9:06:51 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?
    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.
    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.
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