U.S. monthly data use up 120%, Netflix one-third of peak web traffic

By on November 7, 2012, 4:30 PM

According to Sandvine, American monthly data use over fixed-line infrastructure has more than doubled this year. U.S. households averaged 23GB per month in 2011, but saw that number increase to 51GB in 2012. That's an increase of more than 120 percent since Sandvine's last Global Internet Phenomena Report in 2011.

It also appears that a surprising portion of that ever-increasing traffic is generated by Netflix. In the U.S., the popular movie streaming service accounted for roughly 33 percent of all downstream bandwidth use during peak times.  Peak usage typically occurs at night, between the hours of 8p and midnight. Incidentally, 33 percent is essentially the same figure Sandvine reported during this time last year for Netflix.

By comparison, Amazon and Hulu only accounted for 1.8 and 1.4 percent of U.S. downstream traffic during peak times, respectively. Even the mighty YouTube dished out about half of what Netflix handled, overall.

With the continued rise of streaming entertainment, BitTorrent actually finds itself on the decline. In the U.S, BitTorrent accounted for 12 percent of all download traffic in 2012. The file sharing protocol was responsible for a slightly higher 13.5 percent during this time last year.

Sandvine also makes a number of predictions for 2015, based on its analysis of the collected data. The 2014 World Cup, for example, is expected to be the most streamed event in Internet history while BitTorrent traffic will likely continue to wane. The company also predicts 20 percent of American fixed-network traffic will be driven by mobile devices being used at home.

Sandvine sells enterprise-level network management equipment which commonly finds homes at big Internet service providers. The company claims the data it collects from its global customer base of 200+ clients give it an accurate, monthly snapshot of the Interwebs.




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