Cisco Study Reveals Peak Internet Traffic Increases Due to Social Networking and Broadband Video Usage

Cisco Visual Networking Index Study Finds Today’s Average Global Broadband
Connection Generates 11.4 Gigabytes of Internet Traffic per Month


  • Today Cisco announced new findings from the Cisco Visual
    Index (VNI)
    Usage research effort that confirms service provider networks are carrying a
    significant amount of visual
    networking traffic, with more than one-third of the average global broadband
    connection supporting video, social networking and collaboration applications
    each month.
  • This new Cisco VNI Usage study provides quantitative insights into current
    activity on service provider networks during the third quarter of calendar year
    2009. The research effort is a cooperative program between Cisco and a group of
    more than 20 service providers worldwide who share their anonymous, aggregated
    network usage data to help them analyze network usage trends, anticipate
    infrastructure changes, and develop future architectural guidelines.
  • Participating service providers are serving millions of residential
    subscribers from around the world and represent the mobile, wireline, and cable
    segments throughout North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific and
    various emerging markets.
  • This new study, focused on actual network traffic, complements the Cisco
    VNI Forecast and Methodology, 2008-2013, which offers projections for future
    network growth. Updates to the usage data are planned for the future as a means
    to measure changes in overall traffic patterns.

Cisco VNI Usage Highlights

Aggregate Broadband Findings (Q3CY09):

  • Globally, the average broadband connection (primarily residential
    subscribers and some business users) generates approximately 11.4 gigabytes of
    Internet traffic per month.

    •  Per connection per day, this amount is roughly equivalent to downloading
      3,000 text emails, 100 MP3 music files or 360 text-only e-books.
  • Globally, the average broadband connection consumes about 4.3 gigabytes
    visual networking applications (advanced services such as video, social
    networking and collaboration) traffic per month.

    • Per connection per day, this amount is roughly the equivalent of
      approximately 20.5 short- form Internet videos or approximately 1.1 hours of
      Internet video, whether streamed on its own, embedded in a Web page, or viewed
      as part of video communications.
  • Top 1 percent of global subscribers generated more than 20 percent of all
  • Top 10 percent of global subscribers generated more than 60 percent of all

Peak Broadband Usage During Internet Prime Time:

  • In an average day over the reported quarter, Internet "prime time" spans
    from approximately 9 p.m to 1 a.m. around the world. This contrasts with
    broadcast TV prime time, which is generally from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. across most
    global markets.
  • 25 percent (or 93.3 megabytes per day per connection) of global Internet
    traffic is generated during the Internet "prime time" period.
  • A peak Internet hour has 20 percent more traffic than a nonpeak Internet
    hour. The peak Internet hour averages 18 megabytes of traffic per connection
    (per hour), while nonpeak Internet hours average 15 megabytes of traffic per
    connection (per hour).

    • The peak Internet visual networking hour has almost 25 percent more traffic
      than average hourly Internet traffic.


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