The congestion problems that wireless carriers face on mobile data networks capture so much attention that wired networks have become a footnote in the discussion. Although they are not bound by spectrum, fixed line operators face an explosion of video traffic on their networks and must develop telecom network management strategies to keep up with the rapid growth.
Qwest Communications CTO Pieter Poll spoke with SearchTelecom.com about how the former "Baby Bell" is managing growing Internet traffic from its backbone to access networks.
Independent of mobile backhaul, what telecom network management challenges does Qwest face on its fixed broadband network?
Poll: Although congestion is associated with mobile broadband, which itself is a two-sided problem, it is exactly the same thing that we are seeing in the wired broadband space as well. The same thing is driving it. End customers are consuming more and more data. There are just more applications coming along that they want to take part in.
In mobility, we see things like the App Store from Apple or the Android Marketplace for the various Android handsets. Individuals just find things that help them in what they want to do in their lives … but it's no different for someone with their wired broadband connection in the home. Primarily, the big driver in the home is the movement toward streaming video. Close to two-thirds of the peak traffic associated with consumers is video of some sort.
Although people would fret about YouTube, in terms of the volumes that we have, YouTube is actually relatively low bandwidth in terms of a per-stream connection. What is really driving the bandwidth [demand is] the much higher experience connections that you have for streaming video. So, for example, what you would have from a Netflix…. It's a lot of bandwidth and it's fairly unforgiving for any form of congestion.