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Netflix accounts for third of traffic in North America

Netflix accounts for about a third of Internet traffic in North America on “fixed” connections, but the video streaming service also accounts for a tenth of all uploaded traffic too, second only to BitTorrent, according to new research.

Sandvine's latest Global Internet Phenomenon report shows that Netflix traffic comprises up to 30 to 35% of global Internet traffic during peak hours.

The report also notes that Netflix also uses around 9.5% of upstream Internet traffic during peak hours, second only to BitTorrent at 25.49%.

The report notes that BitTorrent's overall traffic share continues to plummet (as users use VPNs to dodge ISP piracy notices or shift to OTT video options).

While Netflix has stated they're experimenting with P2P transfers, it's not entirely clear why their service's upstream consumption has spiked in recent months, but Sandvine claims the spike is courtesy of lopsided broadband usage tiers and ACK packets.

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The numbers are quite a bit different during peak hours on North American cellular networks. There, Netflix takes up 4.51 percent of download traffic and 0.92 percent of upstream.
Facebook, YouTube and Google cloud lead the way on mobile. Meanwhile, there's good news for Amazon. "Amazon Instant Video has established itself as the second largest paid streaming video service in North America," despite not officially being available in Canada, Sandvine said. "While still only accounting for 2.6 percent of downstream traffic, its share has more than doubled in the past 18 months."

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