Netflix, YouTube Swarm The Downstream

OTT Providers Account for More Than 50% of Traffic

Talk about adding insult to injury. Just as trends indicate that cable operators will have trouble maintaining broadband subscriber growth, two over-the-top video providers that don’t typically have a business relationship with MSOs are gobbling up the majority of their downstream broadband pipes.

Sandvine’s latest “Global Internet Phenomena Report” found that Netflix and YouTube streaming represent more than 50% of all downstream traffic on North American fixed broadband networks.

However, peer-to-peer applications, once considered a scourge to cable broadband networks, continue to plummet, representing less than 10% of total traffic in North America and reaching that low ahead of Sandvine’s 2015 prediction.

Netflix accounted for 32.25% of fixed-network downstream traffic during peak periods, slightly higher than the findings revealed last week. Sandvine said it expects Netflix to return to or surpass its previous heights now that it offers higher bit-rate “Super HD” content to all subscribers regardless of whether their ISPs are members of Open Connect, Netflix’s private content-delivery network.

How much bandwidth consumers gobble up is becoming increasingly important as operators continue to test and deploy usagebased Internet policies that charge extra when customers go over their allotted byte caps.

Although critics claim usagebased Internet plans aim to suppress competitive over-the-top video services, the Federal Communications Commission’s Open Internet order expressly allows usage-based pricing. But, as Multichannel News sister publication Broadcasting & Cable reported last June, the Justice Department had been contacting cable operators as part of an investigation that will look at the competitive eff ects of Internet data caps, TV Everywhere services and mostfavored nation clauses, among other policies.

Sandvine said median monthly usage, a figure that Sandvine believes is more indicative of a “typical user,” was 18.2 Gigabytes, relatively flat when compared with its report in May. That tracks well with the median monthly usage of 16 GB to 18 GB per month seen at Comcast, which is testing a usage-based Internet policy that caps monthly consumption at 300 GB before overage charges are applied.


A pair of over-the-top players — Netflix and YouTube — are gobbling the lion’s share of cable bandwidth, according to a new study.