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CRMSandvine, a provider of broadband network solutions, just released its latest Global Internet Phenomena Report. Unsurprisingly, Internet usage and access is on the rise. Overall, streaming audio and video account for a whopping 71 percent of all downstream evening traffic in North America. Sandvine suggests this will reach 80 percent by 2020.

What accounts for most of that traffic? According to Sandvine, Netflix streaming accounts for 35.2 percent of all downstream traffic. The slight surprise is that this is a downward trend from six months ago when Netflix accounted for 37 percent. In all likelihood this decrease doesn’t indicate a shifting trend in streaming video, instead it’s because Netflix is improving its compression technology, making the process of streaming high-definition video less cumbersome.

David Caputo, CEO of Sandvine said, “Netflix’s optimizations mean they can deliver more hours of video using less bandwidth, which results in lower data consumption for subscribers, and decreased capacity-related costs for operators.” So good news for everyone.

Also noted in the report was Amazon Video’s leap to become the third ranked downstream application, up from eighth a year ago and accounting for 4.3 percent of fixed broadband traffic. You Tube still ranks as number two with 17 percent and newcomer Sling TV cracked the top 20, but still only accounts for 1 percent of traffic.

The report also shows that cloud storage has officially surpassed file-sharing as the largest source of upstream traffic during peak hours. Notably, BitTorrent traffic has dropped, now accounting for an overall 5 percent of upstream traffic. Though no formal connection is made, it’s likely the drop in BitTorrent is due at least in part to the explosion in availability and popularity of streaming services like Netflix.


See the full report for more details on the latest internet user trends.