Traffic from wireless and mobile devices will exceed wired devices by 2017, according to Cisco Systems, Inc. (see Figure 1). While desktop PC usage will grow by only 14% annually, mobile devices will grow at a much faster rate.
As part of the National Broadband Plan the FCC was tasked with providing more transparency in broadband information for consumers. In Part II of our Measuring Broadband America summary, the FCC tested web site performance measures versus broadband provider. They found that latency varies with broadband type (DSL, Cable, and Fiber), and that average web page download times changed little above 10-12 Mbps. Part I of this report showed the broadband performance of 13 different ISPs at different bandwidths.
The 2012 London Olympics could place a major strain on the existing broadband infrastructure, says the Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA). James Blessing, ISPA’s treasurer, said of the London Olympics “There is the potential for a massive hit on the infrastructure.” Sports fans clamoring for their favorite feed will have 24 high definition streams to choose from, says the BBC. To ease the strain, Virgin Media has won the contract to provide free Wi-Fi to subway commuters during the Olympics.
As bandwidth has grown so has the size and complexity of web sites. With the advent of YouTube, Vimeo and the like video streaming media has grown in popularity. We survey the video landscape to see how video size, duration, and usage on the web have grown over time.
Apple is poised to pass Microsoft in the streaming media player market. Combining iTunes and QuickTime Apple narrowed the gap with Microsoft to 7.6 percentage points. At current growth rates, Apple should pass Microsoft in streaming media player usage by early 2011.
Who will get the biggest piece of the streaming media pie? By sometime next year it could very well be Apple. Driven primarily by the rapid growth in iTunes, Apple’s players are becoming more popular, while Microsoft and RealPlayer are flat or losing market share (see Figure 1). Meanwhile, broadband penetration among active Internet users grew slightly to 95.33% in February 2010.
The popularity of Apple’s streaming media players is rapidly approaching Microsoft’s. According to a recent survey of streaming media usage, the market share of Apple’s iTunes and QuickTime players grew from 32% in January 2008 to 36.4% in January 2009, while Microsoft’s Media Player was unchanged at 50.7%. Most of this gain was due to the increasing popularity of iTunes. Meanwhile broadband lines grew by 20% to 110.5 million lines in Europe over the past year. In the US, broadband growth slowed to its lowest level in seven years, while penetration crept up to 59% overall.
YouTube continues to dominate the top video sites tracked by Nielsen Online. Updating last year’s top 10 video site survey this year we find YouTube even further ahead of its nearest “competitor,” Google. As of July 2008, YouTube had more than 7.5 times more unique viewers than Google Video. Combined together, Google properties YouTube and Google Video have over 88 million unique viewers, and make up over 36% of the share of videos viewed on the Internet. A recent study by the Communications Workers of America revealed that the US ranks 15th worldwide in broadband speed. In other news, US broadband penetration crept up 0.27 percentage points to 90.76% in July 2008.