|Bandwidth Demand, AT&T 2008|
|Thursday, 11 September 2008 15:00|
AT&T traffic is growing 25%-30%/year/customer, with a dramatic shift from p2p to YouTube and Hulu like video. Easily a third of AT&T's downstream traffic is now “web audio-video,” far more than p2p and the gap is widening rapidly.
Hulu and YouTube are taking over, while p2p is fading away on DSL networks. One likely result is that managing traffic by shaping p2p is of limited and declining use, perhaps buying a network 6 months or a year before needing an upgrade. The p2p traffic shaping debate should be almost over, because it simply won't work very much longer. P2p remains strong at cablecos, possibly because downloaders are choosing the higher speeds, but most cablecos are making good progress against congestion.
Jason Hillery provided some current AT&T information. p2p is currently still growing but “at a slower pace than other traffic.” During a period last year, on the Tier 1 AT&T backbone p2p actually dropped 20%, although that's not typical. AT&T Labs VP Charles Kalmanek points out that a shift in customer mix, rather than an absolute drop in overall p2p, may explain that surprising statistic. A note at DSL Reports suggests that period included Comcast bringing more traffic in house. Around the world, the trend is clear: web traffic continues to grow at something like 25-40% per user each year, right in line with the trend since 2001. Video is growing rapidly, but not enough to change the trend so far. Many of the policy people believe that p2p is a ravenous monster that is devouring the Internet. The data show that simply isn't true.