The use of broadband networks in France

The use of broadband networks in France

This technical study conducted by Idate (Institute of Audiovisual and Telecommunications in Europe) focuses on the use made of broadband and very high speed, fixed and mobile networks in France, to measure the weight of services audiovisual professionals in all traffic. To measure bandwidth usage, Idate took into account audiovisual services such as traditional online video services (linear television, catch-up television, video-on-demand, professional content of community video services, etc.). .) and illegal video services ( streaming , direct download, peer-to-peer file exchange). The consumption of video via illegal services mainly concerns traditional professional content.

The results of this study indicate that the professional audiovisual sector, – legal and illegal distribution – is equivalent to 89.3% of total traffic on fixed networks in 2010, legal services alone accounting for 83.6% of traffic. Linear television consumption (TVIP) alone accounts for 90% of video traffic on fixed networks, while the remaining 10% corresponds to on-demand services. On mobile broadband networks, professional audiovisuals still represent only 25.6% of total traffic in 2010, legal audiovisual services capture 13.6%. According to Idate’s estimates, the share of professional video, legally and illegally distributed, would be 90.5% of all traffic in 2015 and 86.8% excluding illegal services, an increase of 3%.

Beyond these statistical evaluations that confirm the current trend of the exponential growth of the consumption of video content by users on their computer, and in the future more and more on their mobile phone or tablet, this document offers clear and illustrated explanations of the technical functioning of the networks, their architecture and the different ways of distributing content to the Internet. From the website hosted on a server to transport to the Internet Service Provider (ISP) of the subscriber and then the delivery of the content by the ISP to its subscriber, the entire technical chain allowing the delivery of content is presented. The economy of the interconnection market (interconnected networks) is explained by the notions ofpeering (bartering of traffic capacity) and transit (purchasing bandwidth), as well as the activity of ISPs whose infrastructures are used both to access the open Internet and managed services. The presentation of the various means of distributing video content on the networks makes it possible to better understand the strategies of the ISPs. Thus, the Internet is based on the default unicast (a point-to-point connection: N stream for N users), including for the mobile Internet. This is the most popular method of distribution on the open Internet, while multicast (a single stream for N users) has been implemented by telecom operators to deploy IPTV on the networks they manage. Diagrams simplify the understanding of the architecture of a fixed network and a mobile network. Recent technological innovations in video broadcasting are presented, including the so-called adaptive streaming ( smooth streaming ), proprietary technology that allows to adapt, almost in real time, the encoding of video according to the available capacities on the network.

In addition, to calculate the share of each service within the bandwidth, the study provides an estimate of the volume of traffic by type of service (UGC, catch-up TV , VAD, P2P, streaming …) on the Internet open and managed networks.

This study is essential for non-technicians who want to understand the management of Internet traffic. At a time when discussions and controversies about net neutrality are at the forefront of the news, this publication of the CNC is timely.