How Big? P2P Traffic Gobbling 44 Percent of Total Bandwidth

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File-sharing traffic continues to be one of the biggest drivers of internet usage, with an estimated 44 percent of total internet traffic in North America in May attributed to P2P-related traffic. This figure comes from Sandvine, a networking equipment and technology provider for major access providers. Despite the fact that P2P traffic is a well-known source of internet usage, the size of the figure is still surprising and highlights the growing appetite for media-related content online.

The Sandvine figures also show that outside of P2P-related traffic, other demands came from web browsing, at 27.3 percent, and streaming media at 14.8 percent. VoIP traffic, however, was negligible. This trend is not unique to North America either, with similar patterns of usage being reported in Europe and other regions of the world. The increase in internet usage continues to be driven by video-related content, as users continue to demand more and more of it.

During discussions at London Calling last week, technology experts pointed to a growing demand for video-related assets. Separately, a recent study from comScore also pointed to sharp increases in video-related consumption, surprisingly from a stable, year-over-year user base.

The fact that P2P-related traffic is still such a significant part of internet usage highlights the challenges that network administrators face in managing bandwidth. With the increasing demand for streaming video content, it is becoming more difficult to manage network traffic effectively. The growth of video streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, among others, has put enormous pressure on ISPs to deliver high-quality video content to users in real-time.

One of the biggest challenges facing ISPs is the need to balance the needs of heavy users of bandwidth with those who use the internet for basic tasks such as email and web browsing. This is particularly true in the case of P2P-related traffic, which often requires a great deal of bandwidth to function effectively. ISPs must also consider the impact of P2P traffic on other users of the network, as it can often cause congestion and slow down network speeds for everyone.

To address these challenges, ISPs are increasingly turning to sophisticated traffic management tools and technologies. These tools enable network administrators to monitor and analyze traffic patterns in real-time, allowing them to identify and mitigate potential network issues before they become major problems. They also allow ISPs to implement policies that can help to manage bandwidth effectively, such as setting limits on the amount of bandwidth that can be used for P2P-related traffic.

Despite the challenges presented by P2P-related traffic, it is clear that the demand for media-related content online will continue to grow. As more and more people turn to the internet for their entertainment needs, ISPs must adapt to meet the changing needs of their users. The growth of video streaming services and other media-related content is driving the need for faster, more reliable internet connections, and ISPs must be ready to meet this demand.

In conclusion, the growth of P2P-related traffic continues to be a major driver of internet usage, with an estimated 44 percent of total internet traffic in North America attributed to P2P-related traffic in May. Despite the challenges presented by P2P traffic, the demand for media-related content online will continue to grow, and ISPs must be ready to meet this demand. By investing in sophisticated traffic management tools and technologies, ISPs can ensure that they are able to manage network traffic effectively and provide their users with the high-quality internet connections they need.