A Snapshot of North America's Internet Usage

by BTM
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RealClearTechnology - A Snapshot of North America's Internet Usage



Web users in North America have a large and growing appetite for data consumption, according to a new report from Sandvine. The report is interesting not just for the obvious insight that we're gobbling up more data (39 percent more than the first half of last year), but for the insight it sheds on what we're doing online.

Here's what they found: the mean monthly data consumption in North America was 44.7GB. We're using about 6GB of data for upstream activitity (i.e. uploads) and 38.6GB of downstream bandwidth.

Not surprisingly "real-time entertainment" -- principally streaming video -- is eating up our bandwidth, accounting for 68 percent of downstream data during peak periods. Web browsing is a distant second with 12.8 percent. As far as upstream data use, file-sharing holds the crown with 39.6 percent of all data use.

"Netflix continues to be the unchallenged leader for traffic, accounting for 32.3 percent of downstream traffic during peak period," Sandvine noted. Other services such as Amazon (with 1.31 percent) and HBO Go (0.34 percent) saw their shares decline in a greater amount than that of Netflix. YouTube, however, has been surging -- last year it gobbled up 13.8 percent of downstream traffic and now it accounts for 17.1 percent.

Meanwhile, BitTorrent traffic continues to delcine. It now accounts for just 9.2 percent of traffic during peak period and 11.1 percent of total daily traffic, which Sandvine said "demonstrates a sharp decline in share, as just 18 months ago BitTorrent accounted for 18.9 percent of total daily traffic in North America."
  • Profile picture of the author David Beroff
    Here's one thing that confuses me about that chart: Skype accounts for almost 5% of the upstream, and yet doesn't even show in the top ten for downstream, which would imply less than 1.5%. So... people are talking/video'ing themselves, (upstream), but... who's listening/watching?
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    • Profile picture of the author Brian John
      Originally Posted by David Beroff View Post

      Here's one thing that confuses me about that chart: Skype accounts for almost 5% of the upstream, and yet doesn't even show in the top ten for downstream, which would imply less than 1.5%. So... people are talking/video'ing themselves, (upstream), but... who's listening/watching?
      the same number of people may be listening/watching, i.e. downloading, as are uploading, and this may in fact represent a similar quantity of data. it doesn't list skype however among the top 10 in downstreaming because, vs skype, the other sites simply measure higher in downloaded data and ultimately percentage share. keep in mind the chart is referring to percentage share, not actual data size.
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      • Profile picture of the author David Beroff
        Originally Posted by Brian John View Post

        the same number of people may be listening/watching, i.e. downloading, as are uploading, and this may in fact represent a similar quantity of data. it doesn't list skype however among the top 10 in downstreaming because, vs skype, the other sites simply measure higher in downloaded data and ultimately percentage share. keep in mind the chart is referring to percentage share, not actual data size.
        Ah; very good! I should have been able to figure that out; you are absolutely right! The down/up ratio (of over 6:1) is even mentioned in the article.

        Thanks!
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        • Profile picture of the author Brian John
          Originally Posted by David Beroff View Post

          Ah; very good! I should have been able to figure that out; you are absolutely right!
          Thanks!
          Originally Posted by David Beroff View Post

          If you feel a post is helpful, don't forget to "thank" the author.

          you're welcome
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          • Profile picture of the author David Beroff
            Originally Posted by Brian John View Post

            you're welcome
            LOL! Point taken; action taken!

            Actually, I just added that line to my sig today... it certainly has been attracting attention. Hope that's a good thing.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeff Burritt
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    Great, I always wanted to know that
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