Comcast says community site visitors nonetheless rising, however shifting to pre-pandemic patterns

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Downstream and upstream site visitors continued to climb final yr as apps like streaming dominated, however utilization patterns started to revert again to pre-pandemic patterns, Comcast revealed in its “2021 Community Report.”

Comcast mentioned peak downstream site visitors in 2021 rose 11% over 2020 ranges, whereas peak upstream site visitors rose simply 5%. By comparability, 2020 community site visitors ranges spiked significantly – peak downstream site visitors rose 38% whereas upstream site visitors surged 56% – as hundreds of thousands of individuals labored and schooled from house.

(Source: Comcast)

(Supply: Comcast)

Asymmetry nonetheless guidelines

Comcast’s newest report additionally confirmed that site visitors patterns remained extremely asymmetrical, as peak downstream site visitors grew about two-times sooner than upstream site visitors, mirroring pre-pandemic ranges. That pattern towards elevated asymmetry continued all through 2021, as whole downstream site visitors volumes had been 12.4x larger than upstream site visitors for the primary six months of the yr, then climbed to 14.5x larger for the final six months of the yr.

Utilization patterns have additionally begun to revert to pre-pandemic instances as college students began returning to colleges and elements of the workforce made their method again to workplaces. Comcast discovered that each day peak instances occurred at 10 a.m. in January 2021, moved to three p.m. in June 2021, after which shifted to 10 p.m. by December 2021.

Streaming dominates once more in 2021

From a content material standpoint, video streaming, at 71%, dominated peak community site visitors on Comcast’s community in 2021, in comparison with 11% for gaming apps, 9% for net searching and a couple of% for software program updates.

Comcast mentioned it has been in a position to preserve its community forward of demand for the reason that pandemic induced utilization spikes. “We actually have not had time to sit down nonetheless throughout the previous two years, however because of billions of funding, steady innovation, and most significantly the unbelievable workforce we’ve got engaged on the community at each stage, we’ve got stayed nicely forward of demand, which is de facto borne out by our efficiency delivering above-advertised speeds to prospects all through the pandemic,” Elad Nafshi, EVP and chief community officer, mentioned by way of e mail in response to questions.

Even because the site visitors patterns remained comparatively asymmetrical in 2021, there’s already been a big run-up into early 2022 of the deployment and growth of multi-gigabit, symmetrical broadband companies from telco opponents comparable to AT&T, Frontier Communications, Verizon and Ziply Fiber.

Comcast has a solution with Gigabit Professional, a focused, residential fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) service that was lately upgraded to ship symmetrical speeds of three Gbit/s. The cable operator additionally provides as much as 1.2Gbit/s downstream and 35Mbit/s upstream on its DOCSIS 3.1 community.

“We’re at all times constructing our community in anticipation of no matter our prospects might have sooner or later, so whereas site visitors at present stays closely asymmetrical – with downstream accounting for 14.5x as a lot quantity as upstream within the final six months of 2021 – we proceed to be actually excited in regards to the multi-gig symmetrical capability we’re creating for our HFC plant, as a result of it provides a singular path to supply these experiences to prospects at scale,” Nafshi defined.

Comcast and different cable operators at the moment are beginning to concentrate on DOCSIS 4.0, a brand new platform for hybrid fiber/coax (HFC) networks that may ship as much as 10Gbit/s downstream and 6Gbit/s upstream. Latest Comcast assessments have generated symmetrical speeds of 4 Gbit/s. Comcast has not introduced when it expects DOCSIS 4.0-based companies to be prepared for prime time.

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— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Mild Studying


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