The impact and implications of the growth in residential user-to-user traffic

Kenjiro Cho, Kensuke Fukuda, Hiroshi Esaki, Akira Kato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Citations (Scopus)


It has been reported worldwide that peer-to-peer traffic is taking up a significant portion of backbone networks. In particular, it is prominent in Japan because of the high penetration rate of fiber-based broadband access. In this paper, we first report aggregated traffic measurements collected over 21 months from seven ISPs covering 42% of the Japanese backbone traffic. The backbone is dominated by symmetric residential traffic which increased 37% in 2005. We further investigate residential per-customer traffic in one of the ISPs by comparing DSL and fiber users, heavy-hitters and normal users, and geographic traffic matrices. The results reveal that a small segment of users dictate the overall behavior; 4% of heavy-hitters account for 75% of the inbound volume, and the fiber users account for 86% of the inbound volume. About 63% of the total residential volume is user-to-user traffic. The dominant applications exhibit poor locality and communicate with a wide range and number of peers. The distribution of heavy-hitters is heavy-tailed without a clear boundary between heavy-hitters and normal users, which suggests that users start playing with peer-to-peer applications, become heavy-hitters, and eventually shift from DSL to fiber. We provide conclusive empirical evidence from a large and diverse set of commercial backbone data that the emergence of new attractive applications has drastically affected traffic usage and capacity engineering requirements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-218
Number of pages12
JournalComputer Communication Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Oct
Externally publishedYes


  • ISP backbone traffic
  • Residential broadband
  • Traffic growth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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