Why We Need the Bandwidth
If all you want to do is surf web pages, download a few songs, send and receive some photographs, or watch streaming video at current picture quality levels, then the bandwidth provided by today’s cable modems and DSL services is probably good enough for you. But the world is moving toward vastly higher bandwidth applications.
Source: Fiber to the Home Council
Companies like Netflix, Amazon and Wal Mart are offering feature-length movies for download. More people are looking to upload their own home movies into emails or web pages. Consumer electronics companies are coming out with devices that connect televisions to the Internet. High-definition video is fast becoming the state-of-the-art, and one high definition movie takes up as much bandwidth as 35,000 web pages.
In the meantime, a growing number of companies are offering “software as service” – meaning you subscribe to applications on the net rather than install them on your own computer. These “cloud computing” applications are now available for word processing, emailing, automated remote file backup, and a host of business and personal services. All of these applications – and many others we haven’t even dreamed of yet – are going to require much greater bandwidth than what is generally available today, even from “broadband” providers.
All this adds up to consumer bandwidth demands that are growing at an enormously high rate, and are projected to grow for years to come. Can our current last-mile bandwidth capabilities handle this? Consider the following....
- In 2013, Internet video will be nearly 700 times the U.S. Internet backbone in 2000. It would take well over half a million years to watch all the online video that will cross the network each month in 2013. Internet video will generate over 18 exabytes per month in 2013.
- Internet video is now approximately one-third of all consumer Internet traffic, not including the amount of video exchanged through P2P file sharing. In 2010, Internet video will surpass P2P in volume. This will be the first time since 2000 that any application has displaced P2P as the top traffic driver.
- The sum of all forms of video (TV, video on demand, Internet, and P2P) will account for over 91 percent of global consumer traffic by 2013. Internet video alone will account for over 60 percent of all consumer Internet traffic in 2013.
- Video communications traffic growth is accelerating. Though still a small fraction of overall Internet traffic, video over instant messaging and video calling are experiencing high growth. Video communications traffic will increase ten-fold from 2008 to 2013.
- Real-time video is growing in importance. Internet TV, video communications, and ambient video are all high-growth application categories. By 2013, Internet TV will be over 4 percent of consumer Internet traffic, and ambient video will be 8 percent of consumer Internet traffic. Live TV has gained substantial ground in the past few years: globally, P2P TV is now slightly over 7 percent of overall P2P traffic at over 200 petabytes per month.
- Video-on-demand (VoD) traffic will double every two years through 2013. The twin trends of on-demand viewing and high-definition video are generating very rapid growth in cable video and IPTV traffic transported over IP in the metro. Consumer IPTV and CATV traffic will grow at a 53 percent CAGR between 2008 and 2013, compared to a CAGR of 40 percent for consumer Internet traffic.
Source: Fiber to the Home Council