Video streaming services such as BBC iPlayer already account for increasing amounts of internet traffic.
Figures released by network monitoring firm Sandvine show that video-streaming service Netflix accounted for nearly a third of US internet traffic in March.
According to Sandvine's figures
, usage of the popular movie and TV streaming site accounted for 29.7 per cent of downstream traffic at peak times, making Netflix the single biggest source of internet traffic in the US.
Even during off-peak periods, Netflix still accounted for 22 per cent of traffic during most 24 hour period. The latest report from Netflix itself shows that the company now has 23.6million subscribers, with nearly 1 million new subscribers joining per month in the seven months leading up to the report.
Interestingly, the report shows that a Netflix subscriber using an Xbox 360 has about twice the daily content consumption as an average Netflix subscriber, with owners of the console topping 80GB in the course of a month.
Consoles also occupy the top two slots for devices that use the service, with the PlayStation 3 accounting for nearly 31 per cent of the total data downloaded. The Xbox 360 comes second with 25 per cent, with the PC in third place and Nintendo Wii in fourth place.
In the UK, YouTube still has the most users at 19.5 million, while BBC iPlayer has 9 million. There has already been friction
between the BBC and ISPs over who should pay for upgrades to the UK's broadband network to meet the increasing demand for video content. The latest figures have led some to suspect that traffic shaping will become far more common place, particularly with smaller ISPs who may struggle to increase their bandwidth.
Which video streaming services do you use? Do you already suffer from streaming or buffering issues with you ISP at peak times? Let us know in the forums