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Netflix accounts for third of all US internet traffic- as piracy drops

Netflix increased its share of fixed-line Internet traffic in North America in the first half of 2014, accounting for 34% of data flowing to consumers during peak times, up from 32% in the latter half of 2013.

The research, from Sandvine, also found that file-sharing — the main tool of content piracy — had fallen to 8.3% of all daily network traffic, compared to 31% in 2008, as legitimate options flourished.

The Global Internet Phenomena Report 1 H2013 study, which looks at usage data from more than 250 ISPs worldwide.

It found that cord-cutters in the US use about 212 gigabytes of data per month (with 153 GB of that going toward “real-time entertainment usage”).

That equals a 72% of streaming share, an average of 100 hours of streaming per month, and 53.9% of total traffic.

This cord-cutting group also represented the top 15th-percentile of streaming audio and video usage, according to Sandvine.

By comparison, the “typical subscriber” – those that are in the 15th to 80th percentile of streaming usage – had a mean monthly usage of 29 GB, representing 45% of streaming share, an average of 9 hours of streaming per month, and 45.7% of total traffic.
“Non-streamers” – consumers who typically streamed less than 100 megabytes of audio or video each month – had a mean monthly usage of 4.5 GB, or 1% of streaming traffic share. Users in this group averaged less than an hour of streaming per month, and were responsible for a mere 0.5% of total traffic.

While the number of streaming hours consumed by people who fit a cord-cutting profile might seem “shockingly high to some,” Sandvine said it’s “quite easily achievable” when factoring in homes with multiple people using multiple screens.

The report comes amid public feuding between Netflix and internet service providers about who should pay for network improvements needed to maintain quality video streams. Federal regulators are also proposing rules that could permit new fast lanes on the internet for companies that pay for the privilege.

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