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BitTorrent traffic drops to 7 percent in US, but rises everywhere else

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The other day, we reported that Netflix and YouTube ate up a little more than half of all downstream traffic in North America, while noting that P2P file sharing traffic sank below 10 percent. Now we have an exact number on how low BitTorrent traffic has sunk in this part of the world. As much as we’d like to play a The Price is Right-esque guessing game with you, we’ll just lay it out: 7.39  percent through peak hours, according to Sandvine. If you haven’t been keeping count, that’s really low.

This is the first time BitTorrent traffic has fallen in North America, with a significant drop of 20 percent over the last six months. Despite the plummet here in the U.S., however, BitTorrent traffic remains strong globally. In fact, BitTorrent traffic is on the rise in ye olde land of Europe, where close to half (48 percent) of upstream traffic comes from BitTorrent-related activity during peak hours. BitTorrent traffic is also rising in Asia and Latin America, where torrent traffic accounts for 21 percent and 11 percent of overall Internet traffic, respectively. We should point out that overall Internet traffic is also increasing in those regions, likely owed in part to the rise of middle classes in those parts of the world.

If and when services like Netflix and Hulu Plus get the prices for their services hiked at any point, it’ll be interesting to see whether BitTorrent traffic spikes again. We can’t help but think affordable, guilt-free video consumption options have spearheaded the decline of BitTorrent and other forms of file sharing here in North America.

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