As it turns out, people are using the Internet more and more. Shocking, I know. It's like it keeps growing, with more content always being provided and access to the web becoming easier, or something. According to a recent report, North American Internet traffic has more than doubled over the past year, with Netflix accounting for 33% of streaming traffic across fixed networks. Another very real possibility is magic.
According to a report by Sandvine, Netflix is now the largest single source of peak downstream Internet traffic in North America and accounts for 29.7% of peak downstream traffic, rising 8.7% from last fall. By comparing Netflix to other applications, one can see how entrenched the streaming service is in the lives of North Americans: Netflix accounts for more downstream traffic than HTTP websites (18.36%), YouTube (11.04%) and BitTorrent (10.37%).
Video files are so large that it doesn't take much for the simple act of streaming them to top downstream traffic; as we pointed out in a previous article, it only takes a standard four-person family each streaming their own HD content on Netflix 15 or so hours to hit a bandwidth cap of 150 GB, which as any avid Netflix user will note, isn't exactly that many hours spent watching Netflix.