Cisco: 10% of users create 60% of broadband traffic but P2P declining

About 10 per cent of the world's broadband subscribers generate more than 60 per cent of all Internet traffic, with the average connection using about 11.4 Gigabytes of Internet traffic per month, according to a Cisco Systems survey of more than 20 service providers. Meanwhile, the top 1 per cent heaviest global subscribers account more than 20 per cent of all traffic.

The networking company's Visual Networking Index (VNI) Usage report represents activity during the third quarter of 2009 aggregated from cable, wireline telco, and mobile providers in North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific and various emerging markets.

Globally, the average broadband connection consumes about 4.3 Gbytes of video and other "visual networking applications" (such as social networking) per month. That's the equivalent of approximately 1.1 hours of Internet video, according to Cisco.

Peer-to-peer traffic represented about 38 per cent of all Internet traffic, which was a significant decrease from Cisco's earlier pilot studies that showed P2P accounting for more than half of all bandwidth used, said Doug Webster, senior director of market management in Cisco's Service Provider Group.

"There's been an assumption that peer-to-peer is taking up the majority of the traffic," Webster said. "But the relative percentage of peer-to-peer is decreasing because of the rise in other application types."

Cisco also found a common "Internet primetime," across all geographies, which spans approximately 9pm to 1am around the world. About 25 per cent of global Internet traffic - or 93.3 Mbytes per day per connection -- is generated during the Internet "primetime" period.