Why Netflix's 'House of Cards' season 2 won't break the Internet

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The day so many people have been waiting for has arrived — the second season of "House of Cards" is now available on Netflix. So what impact will that have on Internet traffic?

A Canadian company called Sandvine tracks traffic on the Internet. Sandvine says that during peak hours — roughly 7 to 10 p.m. — Netflix accounts for nearly a third of downstream traffic in North America. That's up from about one-fifth of the traffic four years ago.

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Sandvine spokesman Dan Deeth says the company's looked at Netflix during anticipated releases like "Arrested Development" in the past.
"What we found was there wasn't necessarily a material increase in the volume of Netflix traffic during those times with those previous launches," Deeth said.
Deeth says some people saw that as a failure, but it obviously wasn't for Netflix.
"What we think this means is that people are going to watch Netflix no matter what on a Friday or Saturday night," Deeth said. "So if they're not watching the new season of 'House of Cards,' maybe they're catching up on old episodes of 'Mad Men' ... maybe they're watching a movie they've never seen before."

Deeth says Netflix could nab an even larger share of Web traffic as the company moves to adopt the next generation of video streaming technology.

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