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Networked devices lead to spike in online traffic

Briefs | 02/21/2007 5:00 am EST

Sandvine, a Waterloo ON-based provider of solutions for networked homes, says that services linked to Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox gaming console service and Apple Computer Inc.’s iPod digital music player are leading to surges in broadband traffic.
The Xbox Live online gaming service and Apple’s iTunes music download service have both caused online traffic to swell at times, namely around the holiday season and the release dates of certain game and music titles and software updates. For instance, a bump in broadband traffic was recorded in fall, when new games became available for the Xbox and iTunes version 7 was released.
Sandvine, of course, says the situation is custom-made for its deep-packet inspection (DPI) technology. "With the growing popularity of online gaming, it is evident that today’s best-effort networks are not well-suited to provide the consistent, high-quality services that subscribers expect," said Sandvine president and CEO Dave Caputo in a release. Supporting that point, IDC director of consumer multiplay Matt Davis said: "Applications such as gaming, VoIP, and streaming video can be adversely impacted by unpredictable jitter, latency, and packet loss that are characteristics of today’s broadband networks. Adding additional capacity and bandwidth is key, but does not solve the problem as bandwidth-intensive applications put pressure on available network resources."

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