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With more and more customers using its streaming service instead of or in addition to its by-mail offering, Netflix recently branded itself as a “streaming company”. That new moniker may come with a price, however, as some fear that ever-increasing video streaming demands by Netflix subscribers are eating up too much broadband capacity.

According to Sandvine, a network administrator that studies web traffic patterns, 20% of downstream internet traffic during “peak” internet usage hours consists of Netflix streaming. That makes Netflix a bigger bandwidth hog than YouTube, Hulu, P2P services, etc. As Netflix subscriptions increase and more of its subscribers stream titles, the burden on North America’s broadband network will likely see a commensurate increase.

Internet age alarmism, or something to actually worry about, Insiders? With VOD and downloading on the rise all over and not just with Netflix, will the internet be able to handle the bandwidth-heavy demands of all this video?

(via The Street)

10 Responses to “Netflix Usage to Overburden Broadband Capacity?”

  1. Member [Join Now]

    Comcast and Verizon will ba happy to help by charging you as much as possible for your internet usage.

  2. Visitor [Join Now]
    Rob Hood [visitor]

    If ISP’s increase the speed of connection (providing more bandwith) this really shouldn’t be a problem.

  3. Member [Join Now]
    Alan Smithee [8traxrule]

    Just watched “This is It” on Netflix and the picture left a lot to be desired- detail was pretty good but still a lot of noticeable compression artifacts- stuff in the background looked blocky. Some movies look better than others, but I hope they can make it look at least as good as broadcast TV (which isn’t perfect either- I see a lot of compression on that, thankfully I hardly watch it anyways.) They need to add 5.1 sound for all devices and every movie that uses it too- Playstation 3 gets it on a few titles now.

  4. Member [Join Now]

    My sister, who is in college, was actually talking to me today about who watching just 3 episodes of Gray’s Anatomy on Netflix spent up her college internet usage for the week. Hulu, Fancast, and others don’t do that.

    I do like Netflix’s streaming though. No commercials and once the movie has loaded, it won’t freeze (or at least it shouldn’t).

  5. Visitor [Join Now]
    Gary [visitor]

    We love Netflix. As a matter of fact, we recently unsubscribed from our satellite service since most of our TV watching is through Netflix. Online Movies are great. But, that all comes at a price, right? I’ve often thought what would happen if a majority of people in a rural area like where I live watched Netflix Online…would our ISP begin throttling our service to accommodate? We have Frontier and I keep a close eye on my online dsl speed through I haven’t noticed any degradation yet, but only time will tell I’m sure unless bandwidth is increased as mentioned in a previous post.

  6. Visitor [Join Now]
    Kevin [visitor]

    Maybe if ISPs provided the necessary bandwidth to provide the speeds they advertise that you are getting then it wouldn’t be a problem. They advertise 6mbs then give you 2, then if you complain they just say sorry the network is just overburdened right now. Maybe they should take their overpriced service and use the money to provide the required hardware to achieve the speeds they say they have instead of complaining about streaming

  7. Visitor [Join Now]
    Dannielle [visitor]

    We have Netflix and enjoy the convenience of having movies without driving, standing in line, and then returning them. As we grow more tech savvy broadband will rule over cable and satellite.

  8. Visitor [Join Now]
    Paul [visitor]

    IMHO, Netflix, Fios, AT&T…etc. are all a waste of money. I’m MUCH happier just occassionally renting a Redbox movie here and there for a $1. In a typical month I’ll probably rent 4 to 5 movies and in some months I’ll rent fewer when there’s nothing good (like right now for instance).

    If I watched tons of movies I’d probably consider Netflix but for a lot of people like me it makes no sense. I also only subscribe to basic cable and I have more than enough stuff to watch. It boogles my mind that some people spend $75 or more for cable. Freakin’ crazy.

  9. Visitor [Join Now]
    Darrell [visitor]

    I’ve already seen this as an issue. I only have a 3mb connection and get a DVD quality picture from Netflix. Every evening between 7:00 and 10:00, my quality bar drops by as much as 5 notches. It goes from DVD quality to blotchy. It is not my connection as I’ve tested repeatedly at and my download speed remains constant. It is Netflix that is choking. This is not acceptable, they must keep up with the demand.

  10. Member [Join Now]
    MovieWatcherSupreme [moviewatchersupreme]

    No worries, networks are always expanding and most owners of servers increase their bandwidth handle weekly. 20% doesn’t sound like something to be worried about.