This is interesting: Informa Telecoms & Media analyst Giles Cottle apparently had the same question I had when he looked at the Pirate Bay's new tracker usage map mash-up: What does this tell us about global broadband usage patterns? Cottle extracted some of the key numbers and compared them with global broadband penetration rates. From the post:

"The 1/3 of traffic that Chinese internet users generate is in spite of the fact that they make up only 1/6 of the world’s internet users. Conversely, the 6.7% of traffic that Japan generates is less impressive considering the fact that 6.2% of all internet users are Japanese."

I noticed some similar patterns when I wrote about the map last week for Newteevee, although I do have to admit that I may have underestimated the number of Japanese broadband subscribers.

Still, one of the most striking facts to me was that countries with relatively slow broadband connections like China are so well represented, whereas Korea with its uber-fast residential broadband pipes seems to largely ignore the Pirate Bay. My theory was that faster broadband connections spur the development of cloud storage solutions that make P2P obsolete. Cottle believes that demographics play a role as well:

"Where broadband penetration is lower, internet users are often younger people, historically the largest demographic for file-sharing. As penetration increases, a country’s internee user base starts to be more representative of a country’s population, many of whom are less interested in peer to peer."

That seems plausible as well. Either way, it will be interesting to see what else we will be able to gather from the Pirate Bay's statistics. By the way, the map is now available both as a current snap-shot and a summary of user activity for the last 24 hours.

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