ISPs better start preparing for iTunes streaming

ISPs better start preparing for iTunes streaming

Summary: You might have heard the news that Apple has built a massive 500,000 sq. ft. data center located in Maiden, North Carolina, and could be getting ready to expand it to double its current size. Apple is getting ready to push a lot of data down the pipes.

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You might have heard the news that Apple has built a massive 500,000 sq. ft. data center located in Maiden, North Carolina, and could be getting ready to expand it to double its current size. Apple is getting ready to push a lot of data down the pipes.

The speculation is that Apple is going to use this data center for a new cloud-based service that would allow users to sync their iTunes library onto Apple servers and allow users to stream their media to any Apple device.

Is that's the case, ISPs had better start preparing for a huge increase in traffic across their networks.

CNET's Don Reisinger puts the current bandwidth hogs in perspective:

"In the United States, Netflix represents more than 20 percent of downstream traffic during peak times," Sandvine wrote in a statement highlighting its "Fall 2010 Global Internet Phenomena" report. The company said that Netflix's traffic is heaviest (20.61 percent, to be precise) between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. local time--the venerable prime time for people to sit back, relax, and enjoy some programming.

Although general Web surfing is tops at peak traffic times--it accounts for 22.7 percent of all downstream traffic--Netflix is easily besting its competitors. According to Sandvine, YouTube tallies 9.85 percent of downstream traffic during downtime. It's followed by BitTorrent and Flash content across the Web, which capture 8.39 percent and 6.14 percent of downstream traffic, respectively. Apple's iTunes platform accounts for just 2.58 percent of traffic.

So, currently Netflix is the biggest single bandwidth hog, scoffing up 20.61% of peak time traffic. iTunes accounts for a modest 2.58%. However, if Apple starts allowing users to stream their content over the web, then you can expect this figure to balloon rapidly. ISPs and mobile service providers might be able to protect themselves somewhat by relying on caps and fair usage policies, but even with such measures in place it's still going to mean a lot more people downloading a whole lot more data.

Topics: Apple, Browser, Hardware, Mobility, Telcos

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5 comments
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  • I can't wait for Apple to offer a subscription music service

    and then have all the Apple zealots defend their belief that an Apple music subscription service is good while an MS subscription music service is bad, bad, bad.
    NonZealot
    • no one ever said that

      @NonZealot
      apple only said that people obviously don't want to rent music because renting services never took off. no one uses them (ok, let's say the 10 zune lovers do). that's why they didn't offer it.

      if they change their mind, that's fine with me. why not have it both ways? i would try it for a reasonable fee as a discovery service (say $5 a months for one time full lenght plays, so i can better decide what to buy). subscription services were never good nor bad only not very popular.

      p.s. you are really trapped in your "cue the double standard" meme. you don't see the forest for the trees anymore. you need help.
      banned from zdnet
  • They already did

    There are very few unlimited data options left so I'd say broadband / wireless providers have already prepped for the streaming world to come. You want to download, stream, XBL etc .. it'll cost you. You're in the limited usage email, lite internet - they have tiered their "pipe" for your usage.

    Like every other "utility" you pay for what you use. Don't think for a moment streaming will ever be as large as broadcast TV / cable for years to come. It's big business and for now it's a nice side business for early adopters but once any mainstream percent migrate .... so will the cost.
    MobileAdmin
    • RE: VMware buys Socialcast; Fills out collaboration portfolio

      OK! However, if Apple starts allowing users to stream their content over the web, then you can expect this figure to balloon rapidly. ISPs and mobile service providers might be able http://france-pharma.com | http://bluepillsau.com | http://edproblemsolver.com to protect themselves somewhat by relying on caps and fair usage policies, but even with such measures in place it???s still going to mean a lot more people downloading a whole lot more data.
      drumandyou
  • ISP's are quite ready

    with bandwidth caps.
    mdemuth