Experts once predicted that the rise of legitimate, legal avenues for online content would seriously undercut BitTorrent downloads. Indeed, the torrenting’s total share of Internet traffic has decreased — from 17.3 percent of all Internet traffic two years ago, to 11.3 percent six months ago, to now comprising 10.31 percent. But that’s a pretty superficial look at the numbers. More than likely, this is due to the fact that the Web — in all its downloading and streaming glory — is growing ever more ginormous.
In fact, BitTorrent’s traffic is actually growing, by as much as 40 percent in North America. According to a report from Sandvine, a Canadian broadband management company, the numbers jumped over the past half-year. A look at peak hour traffic is pretty revealing: BT is responsible for over a third of all upload traffic during this time.
But the experts weren’t totally wrong. Netflix still dominates in terms of bandwidth usage, representing an even bigger chunk: During the same peak period, it nabbed nearly a third of all downstream Internet traffic, at 28.8 percent. And that’s during the busiest time of the day.
It remains to be seen how the U.S.’s upcoming “six-strikes” scheme will affect those figures. Will it make BitTorrenting more unpopular, or will people go on about their p2p sharing habits as usual? Hard to say, but what is certain is that, at least for now, it still seems to be going strong.