Report: Netflix Sucking Bandwidth - top source of Internet traffic in North America

written by: Richard Kastelein

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Sandvine, a leading provider of intelligent broadband network solutions for fixed and mobile operators, today announced the release of their Global Internet Phenomena Report: Spring 2011, including Internet trends from North America, Latin America and Europe, with specific spotlights on events such as Netflix adoption and March Madness® On Demand. Overall insights since the last report in the fall of 2010, reveal a growing appetite for on-demand applications that will continue to drive data consumption and network quality requirements.

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Major findings from the report include:

- In North America, Netflix is now 29.7% of peak downstream traffic and has become the largest source of Internet traffic overall. Currently, Real-Time Entertainment applications consume 49.2% of peak aggregate traffic, up from 29.5% in 2009 – a 60% increase (see Figure 3). Sandvine forecasts that the Real-Time Entertainment category will represent 55-60% of peak aggregate traffic by the end of 2011.

- In Latin America, Social Networking (overwhelmingly Facebook) is a bigger source of traffic than YouTube, representing almost 14% of network traffic (see Figure 4). Real-Time Entertainment represents 27.5% of peak aggregate traffic, still the largest contributor of traffic in that region (see Figure 5).

- In Europe, Real-Time Entertainment continues a steady climb, rising to 33.2% of peak aggregate traffic, up from 31.9% last fall (see Figure 6). BitTorrent, a peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing protocol, is the largest single component of both upstream (59.7%) and downstream (21.6%) Internet traffic during peak periods. In the UK, BBC's iPlayer is 6.6% of peak downstream traffic, reflecting the demand for localized content in many markets. Overall, individual subscribers in Europe consume twice the amount of data as North Americans.

Sandvine's reports and spotlights are made available through Sandvine's suite of Business Intelligence products, including Network Analytics and Network Demographics. The reports are an ongoing series of Internet phenomena and traffic analysis studies that have been published since 2002. The information in the Spring 2011 study is based on voluntary and completely anonymous data, aggregated from fixed and mobile service provider networks spanning Europe, Latin America and North America. Sandvine's global view, which includes over 220 service provider customers spanning more than 85 countries, makes the report the most comprehensive of its kind in the industry.

"The information and trends in Sandvine's Spring 2011 Global Internet Phenomena Report, emphasize the need for innovative solutions to keep up with rapidly evolving consumer demands for content and connectivity. The dramatic growth of Netflix and its impending global expansion are prime examples of a growing appetite for real-time entertainment," said Dave Caputo, President and CEO, Sandvine. "It is also important for fixed and mobile broadband providers to have real-time policy control capability, made possible by insightful business intelligence, in order to put sound strategic decisions into action."

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