Video dominated Internet traffic, delivered increasingly over copper
Video streaming continued to dominate all Internet traffic in rural networks in Q2, representing over 62 percent of all downstream traffic. Interestingly, copper network endpoints, benefiting from new technologies currently available in the Calix Unified Access portfolio, like VDSL2 vectoring and bonding, generated a growing proportion of this traffic with an average of 6.5 gigabytes (GBs) of traffic in the period, up from 4.4 GB in the Q1 report. Consistent with the overall growth in video consumption in rural America, the report findings also show 22.4 percent of end users generated more than 50 GB of traffic in Q2, up from 14.9 percent in the first quarter of the year.
Additional findings from the Q2 report include:
- The Midwest region overtook the West as the leading generator of upstream streaming media traffic a full 12 percent higher than the national average.
- The Northeast retained its claim as the leading regional generator of online shopping traffic, with upstream traffic for this application 41 percent higher than the national average.
- Online gaming continued to be strong in the Southeast region, generating traffic 55 percent above the U.S. average.
In the second quarter, rural U.S. broadband subscribers also saw an increase in peak broadband speeds from the previous quarter. Forty-five percent of this group received maximum peak downstream speeds of more than 3 Mbps, a 12 percent increase over Q1. Despite this improvement, two-thirds of rural broadband subscribers in Q2 experienced peak speeds that fell below the 4 Mbps target of the Connect America Fund. Of the remainder, 8 percent experienced peak broadband rates of over 10 Mbps, with the highest reported speeds reaching 1Gbps both upstream and downstream.
Of particular interest this quarter was both the accelerating pace of Internet traffic in rural America quarter-over-quarter, and the fact that much of this increase was seen over copper networks, said Miguel Alonso, Calix vice president of software products. The combination of new copper technologies, a proliferation of video consuming devices, and content moving to the cloud creates a fertile ground for rapid increases in Internet traffic because copper is the most widely deployed access media in the rural U.S. Looking ahead to future quarters, we expect this trend to continue, and promise to provide deeper insights and analysis and we continue to further enhance the report by tracking more applications and endpoints across the U.S.
The Q2 2012 Calix U.S. Rural Broadband Report is the third in a series of reports planned to be issued quarterly. The report analyzes data derived from a subset of Compass Flow Analyze deployments across the United States. Independent of the access media and broadband technology deployed, Flow Analyze provides a unique subscriber-centric view of the network and its traffic. Utilizing a software-as-a-service model, Flow Analyze gives service providers an in-depth look into both the overall traffic volumes and the general types of applications (for example, video streaming, Internet browsing, etc.) that are riding over their network infrastructure, allowing them to more effectively and efficiently plan, manage, and troubleshoot their networks without intruding on the privacy of their subscribers. In addition, Flow Analyze allows service providers to find new opportunities to expand revenue, increase customer satisfaction, optimize network resources, and reduce the cost of delivering services to subscribers.