Netflix Streamers Are Hogging Bandwidth
They eat up 20% in peak hours
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Nov 4, 2010 5:18 PM CDT
Updated Nov 7, 2010 3:02 PM CST
It's a Neflix DVD. How quaint.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, file)

(Newser) – People streaming movies from Netflix are eating up a ton of bandwidth, and it's only going to get worse, writes Farhad Manjoo in Slate. He notes the takeaway stat from from a new report: Netflix watching accounts for 20% of web traffic in North American homes during peak usage hours. "That's an amazing share," writes Manjoo. "It beats that of YouTube, iTunes, Hulu, and, perhaps most tellingly, the peer-to-peer file-sharing protocol BitTorrent, which accounts for a mere 8% of bandwidth during peak hours."

The scary thing is that relatively few people are using the service, and they're still racking up that huge percentage. Sounds like a disaster in the offing, but "the outcome might actually not be that dire," writes Manjoo. The demand may force ISP providers to expand capacity and finally get America's broadband capabilities where they should be. They better: Netflix will be streaming more than shipping discs in a few years. "The future of Netflix, then, is the Internet. It's an open question whether the Internet can keep up."

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Showing 3 of 23 comments
waltmigner
Jun 29, 2012 12:54 AM CDT
I live in a big building with tons of nighttime movie streamers, and netflix kind of service eats up bandwidth for gamers in this building like me, I can see a noticeable difference in internet performance after 11pm, when everybody goes to bed, the movies end, the games play perfectly as they should after 11pm. bandwidth should be shared equally not hogged by people who want to watch a flick. Go to a cinema.
bandhog
Nov 8, 2010 7:29 PM CST
I believe this article writer is missing a key point: broadband providers will simply jack up prices on everyone to pay for this excess bandwidth usage or jack up prices on the chief offenders. They will in no way choose to expand their infrastructure as their first option to deal with this issue, not in a million years.
Megan Savage
Nov 8, 2010 11:58 AM CST
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