[CalFiber] FW: The Asymmetric Nature of Internet Traffic

Christopher Mitchell christopher at ilsr.org
Tue Mar 23 17:01:11 PDT 2021


It would be something if uploads were dominant given that the architecture
prevents it.... so it is fore-ordained that upload is less important.

The article pulls the same sleight-of-hand that many do. The aggregate
amount of traffic moved in a direction over a time period like a month is
not related to the priority of the user or the effectively instantaneous
capacity of the connection. The very example they use - streaming video -
proves the point. For streaming video, 100 Mbps or 1000 Mbps is more or
less the same (though it can have an impact on latency).

I pay Comcast extra money every month so that I can have faster uploads.
They also give me faster downloads, but that is meaningless to me. I guess
I have gone from being able to simultaneously stream 8 HD shows to 12 maybe
but that is flat out dumb. Even when I max out my Comcast upload, I cannot
back up hard drives to the cloud because it is still too slow (and capped).
Trying to work from home is less pleasant even sending email attachments
compared to my symmetrical fiber at my workplace.

Christopher Mitchell
Director, Community Broadband Networks
Institute for Local Self-Reliance

MuniNetworks.org <http://www.muninetworks.org/>
@communitynets
612-545-5185


On Tue, Mar 23, 2021 at 2:38 PM Harold Feld <hfeld at publicknowledge.org>
wrote:

> By pure coincidence, this is what cable is really bad at.
>
> DOCSIS achieves its faster downloads by sacrificing upload.
>
> Harold Feld, Senior VP
> (202) 559-1044 | @haroldfeld
> Public Knowledge | @publicknowledge | www.publicknowledge.org
> 1818 N St. NW, Suite 410 | Washington, DC 20036
>
> Support Public Knowledge's Mission <https://www.publicknowledge.org/give/>
>
>
> On Tue, Mar 23, 2021 at 12:10 PM Ernesto Falcon <ernesto at eff.org> wrote:
>
>> Cable lobby wants you to know that no one needs a fast upload.
>>
>> Oh but if you do need a faster upload, they’ll throttle you and your
>> neighbors but for some reason they left that part out (
>> https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2020/06/cox-slows-internet-speeds-in-entire-neighborhoods-to-punish-any-heavy-users/).
>>
>>
>>
>> <https://ncta.us4.list-manage.com/track/click?u=5c9cbb7072f1682388e57f94b&id=164bcd903c&e=e0a4bca3b3>
>>
>> ncta.com
>> <https://ncta.us4.list-manage.com/track/click?u=5c9cbb7072f1682388e57f94b&id=c8b375031a&e=e0a4bca3b3>
>> The Asymmetric Nature of Internet Traffic
>> <https://ncta.us4.list-manage.com/track/click?u=5c9cbb7072f1682388e57f94b&id=d3a22b59e2&e=e0a4bca3b3>
>>
>> Article | March 22, 2021
>>
>>
>> <https://ncta.us4.list-manage.com/track/click?u=5c9cbb7072f1682388e57f94b&id=b59fb0eaa1&e=e0a4bca3b3>
>>
>> Since the beginning of the internet, residential broadband traffic has
>> been asymmetric in nature, as users generally receive far more information
>> (streaming for instance) than they send (uploading photos to Facebook for
>> instance). Network engineers early on recognized that residential customers
>> were primarily consumers of information, not producers of information, and
>> designed broadband service to favor this consumer behavior.
>>
>> In fact, over the last decade the average downstream-to-upstream traffic
>> ratio has grown
>> <https://ncta.us4.list-manage.com/track/click?u=5c9cbb7072f1682388e57f94b&id=75d9779df4&e=e0a4bca3b3>
>> from 3:1 in 2010 to over 14:1 by the beginning of 2019.
>>
>> In 2020, as the pandemic resulted in millions of consumers working and
>> learning from home, broadband internet service providers faced an
>> unprecedented spike in traffic. Since March 2020, cable networks have
>> seen
>> <https://ncta.us4.list-manage.com/track/click?u=5c9cbb7072f1682388e57f94b&id=4e6423877a&e=e0a4bca3b3>
>> a 30.8% growth in downstream traffic and a 54.8% growth in upstream.
>> Despite these extraordinary changes, the internet continues to perform well.
>>
>> Even with such growth, the data shows that downstream traffic still
>> dominates as a percent of total traffic. The chart below compiled with data
>> from NCTA member companies shows that the ratio of downstream-to-upstream
>> traffic has changed only slightly during the pandemic, and as of December
>> 2020, reflected a downstream-to-upstream traffic ratio of 16:1.
>>
>>
>> <https://ncta.us4.list-manage.com/track/click?u=5c9cbb7072f1682388e57f94b&id=ef980a8968&e=e0a4bca3b3>
>>
>> What is driving all of the downstream? Not surprisingly, video streaming
>> is the king of internet traffic. One cable provider reported
>> <https://ncta.us4.list-manage.com/track/click?u=5c9cbb7072f1682388e57f94b&id=6301552cef&e=e0a4bca3b3>
>> that video streaming traffic grew 70% in 2020. And while video conferencing was
>> growing
>> <https://ncta.us4.list-manage.com/track/click?u=5c9cbb7072f1682388e57f94b&id=d6c65c251b&e=e0a4bca3b3>
>> anywhere from 300-700% over its pre-shutdown levels, that traffic still
>> accounts for less than 5% of overall network traffic.
>>
>> The bottom line is that the overall consumption of broadband has been and
>> will continue to be significantly asymmetrical.
>>
>>
>>
>> <https://ncta.us4.list-manage.com/track/click?u=5c9cbb7072f1682388e57f94b&id=220580b2d4&e=e0a4bca3b3>
>> <https://ncta.us4.list-manage.com/track/click?u=5c9cbb7072f1682388e57f94b&id=88899b3763&e=e0a4bca3b3>
>>
>> NCTA - The Internet & Television Association | 25 Massachusetts Avenue NW
>> - Suite 100
>> Washington, DC 20001 | Phone: (202) 222-2300 | www.ncta.com
>> Copyright ©2021
>>
>>
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