Streaming Video Scarfs Up Rural Bandwidth

According to the Calix "U.S. Rural Broadband Report," based on data from 45 rural U.S. communications service providers from October through December 2011, video streaming accounted for 67% of downstream Internet traffic and 13% of upstream traffic in the studied networks. The top 5% of subscribers in the rural U.S. networks studied used more than 100 GB of downstream traffic a month and accounted for approximately 50% of Internet traffic.

Large content distribution networks (CDNs) such as Level3, Limelight, and Akamai -- which carry video content from sites like Netflix and YouTube -- accounted for 80% of all streamed video traffic. In terms of upstream traffic, business services generated the most, accounting for 53% of all upstream traffic.

Service providers that offer Internet services exclusively over fiber access networks saw subscribers generate over 2.67 times more traffic than service providers that offered Internet services over copper-based networks.
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