The Need for Traffic Data
This chapter explains the importance of traffic data in providing a richer picture of the overall state of broadband networks. It begins with an overview of what traffic data is generally available in networks, how this data may prove important in answering questions that are relevant to the entire community of stakeholders, and why collecting the data and making it more generally available is challenging. It then considers how data focused on broadband availability and on adoption metrics is becoming less informative as broadband penetration rises, and that network traffic data will be central to understanding and answering many of the questions relating to the health of the broadband access market. To answer these questions, it will be helpful to learn more about the distribution of usage across the user population, the characteristics of users that participate during peak periods of network congestion, and the variance in usage and how it differs by type of user. The chapter concludes with a discussion of open research questions and some of the interesting research efforts that have been initiated in recent years.
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