Cord cutters dominate broadband usage

As the FCC prepares to release new rules on how the Internet is governed, a study by Sandvine has found that broadband consumption by cord-cutting consumers is taking up more bandwidth every day. In North America, cord cutters consume seven times the amount of bandwidth compared to customers who are still paying for cable service.

The study concluded that cord-cutters account for 54 percent of total monthly network traffic. And in the U.K. and Ireland, Netflix is the second largest source of broadband traffic during peak hours.

Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) is far and away the largest downstream consumer on fixed access networks in North America, according to study, with a share of 34.21 percent. That's up from 31.6 percent in Sandvine's report from the second half of 2013.

Other apps taking up broadband bandwidth include YouTube (13.19 percent), HTTP (11.65 percent), iTunes (3.64 percent), Secure Socket Layer (a protocol that nails up a secure channel) (3.42 percent), BitTorrent (3.40 percent), MPEG (2.85 percent), Facebook (1.99 percent), Amazon Video (1.9 percent), and Hulu (1.74 percent).  HBO GO came in with a paltry 1.24 percent.

The story is a bit different in Europe where Netflix is not so widely distributed. Instead, YouTube represented 19.27 percent of downstream traffic, while Netflix only accounted for 3.23 percent. However, where Netflix is available, it has become the second largest driver of broadband traffic at 17.8 percent.

For more:
- Multichannel News has this story
- BlouinNews has this blog post
- GigaOM has this story