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Netflix, YouTube Driving Broadband Traffic

22 Jul, 2015 By: Erik Gruenwedel

As expected, over-the-top video, driven in large part by YouTube and Netflix, accounts for a majority of global broadband traffic, according to new data from Futuresource Consulting.

Broadband traffic is also being driven by the proliferation of smartphones, which is at 37% global penetration, and tablets, with global household penetration of 26%.

The London-based research firm said the demand growth of broadband on portable devices is fueled by a growing range of new services, including subscription video-on-demand and OTT video.

Netflix continues to dominate broadband traffic during primetime viewing hours, while YouTube consistently trumps the industry in online video views and traffic.

In the coming years, a number of other services and devices will emerge, placing more and more demand on broadband, according to the report. One is the "Internet of Things," which refers to the ongoing proliferation of networks featuring an IP address for connectivity, and the communication that occurs between these objects and other connected devices and systems.

The Internet of Things is rapidly turning into a commercial reality, bringing with it myriad new connected devices, from light switches to watches, all demanding bandwidth.

Futuresource said government intervention also remains a key factor in broadband traffic, with many local governments encouraging network expansion beyond major cities to support economical, political, and social level playfields.

Beyond South Korea, which continues to lead the world in broadband technology, Western Europe contains the highest concentration of advanced countries, with six of the top 10 countries globally ranked for coverage and speed of access. Sweden is the top of those, with fiber-optic cabling connected to 43% of homes, providing more than 35% of households with speeds in excess of 100mbps.

"The 'always connected', 'always on' mentality of consumers now dictates constant access to applications and multimedia through a range of devices," Tristan Veale, analyst with Futuresource, said in a statement. "With consumers and businesses relying more and more on broadband connectivity, there is a growing need to ensure not only coverage across all areas, but also high access speeds. Over the coming years, we will see the speed gaps between different regions significantly reduce, as government intervention encourages high speed roll out."

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