The increasing popularity of “real-time entertainment” caused average North American monthly Internet use to double over the past year, Sandvine Inc. said in a report released Wednesday. Sandvine said its "Global Internet Phenomena Report" for the second half of 2012 found that the average amount of data delivered over North American fixed networks increased to 51.3 GB per month 2012, up from 23 GB per month the previous year. “We believe the bulk of this usage growth comes from the popularity of Real-Time Entertainment traffic which remains the dominant traffic category in the region and is responsible for over 65% of downstream bytes during peak period,” the Internet technologies company said in the report. Sandvine said Netflix Inc.’s online streaming service “continues to be the unchallenged leader for traffic” in North America and now represents 33 per cent of peak-period downstream traffic. “While their share of traffic is virtually unchanged from our last report, the significant increase in subscriber consumption means that Neflix is continuing to increase the number of bytes they transmit each month.” Other top video streaming services in North America included services from Amazon Inc., which accounted for 1.8 per cent of peak-period downstream traffic, Hulu (1.4 per cent) and HBO Go (0.5 per cent), the release said. Sandvine said file-sharing on the BitTorrent Inc. prototocol was the largest driver of upstream traffic in the second half of 2012, accounting for 36.8 per cent of peak-period upstream traffic in North America. It said BitTorrent traffic volume increased 40 per cent in the past year “in absolute traffic,” even as its share of overall traffic shrank.