Netflix accounts for 34.21 percent of downstream traffic in U.S.: Report


The number one intelligent broadband network solutions provider for mobile and fixed operators Sandvine recently released a report on Internet traffic called "Global Internet Phenomena Report 1H2014". The report analyzed data from Sandvine's communications service provider customers in North America, Latin America and Caribbean, Africa and Middle East, Asia-Pacific and Europe.

The report reveals that Netflix accounts for 34.2 percent of Internet traffic in North America during evening hours. Only after more than two years since its launch, the streaming video service is already the second biggest driver of Internet traffic on fixed networks in Ireland and the UK. Netflix gained over two million subscribers in the United States in the first quarter of 2014, bringing its total customers to 35.67 million.

Netflix increased its data usage because of its improved streaming quality. The spike shows how important for operators to have intelligent network solutions to accurately monitor and measure the effect that extra services have on networks. Netflix started streaming some videos in Super HD in September 2013. Super HD content is around 50 percent bigger than the 1080p content the company previously offered. Netflix streams video of the highest quality and it is one of the reasons for the rapid climb.  

Meanwhile, AT&T charges its broadband subscribers with extra fees in excess of 250GB per month. Comcast had a 250GB cap but started experimenting with a bigger 300GB limit. iTunes, Amazon and YouTube video services ranked behind Netflix while HBO Go did not make it to the top 10.

Netflix raised its share of traffic after it paid Verizon and Comcast for direct network access. Some Comcast and Verizon customers complained of poor quality and slow video streaming because the network infrastructure was congested for months. Netflix agreed to pay an infrastructure upgrade for the ISPs. Since the upgrade, Netflix performed better on the Comcast network. However, the company's agreement with Verizon only happened in April and there hasn't been any reported change in performance yet.

"While the app of choice varies drastically between continents and countries, this latest report makes it clear that mobile messaging matters," Sandvine CEO and President Mr. Dave Caputo said. "To remain competitive in the marketplace, mobile operators must be able to create and implement innovative service plans rapidly in order to meet the ever-changing demands of subscribers and combat declining SMS revenues."

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