Netflix Hogs Up Internet Traffic
According to a new study, almost 30 percent of web traffic comes from the streaming service.
May 19, 2011 by Rachel Cericola

Apparently, Netflix is a lot bigger than people may think.

According to a new research by Sandvine, 29.7 percent of peak downstream Internet traffic comes from the streaming movie service. Even when combined with upstream traffic, it still accounts for 22.2 percent of traffic, making it the largest source of overall web traffic.

“Netflix is now the unquestioned king of North America’s fixed access networks,” says the firm’s “Global Internet Phenomena Report: Spring 2011.” Published since 2002, the report focuses on web trends in North America, Latin America and Europe, including over 220 service provider customers spanning more than 85 countries.

These new numbers represent a 44 percent increase for Netflix, over the numbers that Sandvine reported last fall. Even more interesting is that Netflix now accounts for more web traffic than BitTorrent, which still claims a hearty 21.6 percent. It also means that more service providers may seriously consider usage-based web plans in the near future. AT&T has already put such a plan into place, with U-Verse.

“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, Sandvine’s president and CEO. “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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Rachel Cericola - Contributing Writer
Over the past 15 years, Rachel Cericola has covered entertainment, web and technology trends. Check her out at

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