Bandwidth Usage and Management: A UK Case Study

Research Conference on Communications, Information and Internet Policy (TPRC), 2011

22 Pages Posted: 4 Jan 2012

See all articles by Alissa Cooper

Alissa Cooper

University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute

Arnaud Jacquet

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Andrea Soppera

BT Exact

Date Written: August 15, 2011

Abstract

As broadband internet service took hold in the mid-2000’s, network operators all over the world were wrestling with the increasing pressure that the rise of peer-to-peer (P2P) traffic was placing on their networks. As a result, some operators adopted traffic management strategies specifically aimed at shifting P2P traffic to off-peak hours, reducing congestion associated with it, or otherwise reducing the impact and cost of P2P on the network. But the rise of video traffic as the core driver of traffic growth in recent years raises questions about the continuing effectiveness of these strategies. This paper provides empirical analysis of network usage from a major UK residential broadband provider that has been using P2P traffic management at peak times for several years. In analyzing network trends, we find video to be the main contributor to traffic growth at peak times throughout the day, and among the network’s heaviest users. We also report the results of an experiment in which the existing P2P traffic controls were temporarily lifted for a subset of users finding that in the short term P2P traffic management appears to effectively time-shift traffic demand without suppressing it from current levels. We conclude that although the traffic management successfully moves P2P traffic off-peak, the rise in demand for time-inelastic video services will cause the utility of P2P traffic management to diminish over time. Together with a potentially hostile policy climate, this trend provides cause To reevaluate the benefits and drawbacks of explicitly managing P2P traffic at the network level.

Suggested Citation

Cooper, Alissa and Jacquet, Arnaud and Soppera, Andrea, Bandwidth Usage and Management: A UK Case Study (August 15, 2011). Research Conference on Communications, Information and Internet Policy (TPRC), 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1979754

Alissa Cooper (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute ( email )

1 St. Giles
University of Oxford
Oxford OX1 3PG Oxfordshire, Oxfordshire OX1 3JS
United Kingdom

Arnaud Jacquet

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Andrea Soppera

BT Exact ( email )

Polaris 134
Martlesham, Suffolk IP5v3RE
United Kingdom

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