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PlusNet Reports Record High iPlayer (IPTV) Usage

Posted: 18th Jul, 2008 By: MarkJ
Sheffield based ISP PlusNet reports that more people than ever before are watching broadband TV services, such as the BBC's iPlayer. The provider states that streaming is now 168.9% higher per day than it was a year ago when the service first launched. That wouldn’t be hard because the iPlayer didn’t officially leave beta status until December 2007.

PlusNet revealed that the record hour for the highest amount of viewers logging on to watch was broken four times in June. Between 9pm and 10pm on Monday, June 30th, 287 GigaBytes (GB) of video content was watched, topping the 283GB reading an hour before:

Neil Armstrong, PlusNet’s products director, said: “The use of the iPlayer and similar services is rocketing. I wouldn’t be surprised to see more and more records broken. In five years time it’s likely people will watch Eastenders on their computer, whenever they want. TV schedules will be thrown out of the window.”

“Customers watching the previous day’s episode of Doctor Who use a large amount of traffic every Sunday. However on our busiest Sunday ever, Top Gear and the Euro 2008 final were also big contributors.”

PlusNet also noted how the iPlayer's increased size had contributed towards its bandwidth consuming impact, with streaming now accounting for 9.64% of all downloaded traffic in the evening.

Similarly the figures showed that YouTube traffic accounts for about 6.5% of the total network, but at the highest point is responsible for about 16% of all downloaded traffic. Perhaps of more interest is the notable fall in peer-2-peer (P2P) file-sharing usage:

Armstrong continued, “It’s important to remember this isn’t all about iPlayer. YouTube drives significantly more traffic over the network than the BBC iPlayer does. What’s interesting is P2P appears to be shrinking – it’s too early to say for sure but this could be down to the increasing popularity of streaming, rather than downloading media.”

We suspect that the increased publicity surrounding enforcement of illegal downloading may also be playing its part, although it's hard to be certain. Many of the most popular USA TV shows stop being broadcast over the summer period, which may be a key factor.

However, IPTV services aren't the only growth area, online gaming traffic was up 14.44% followed by email on 10.38%.
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