Netflix Now the Biggest Bandwidth Hog in US

By  |  Tuesday, May 17, 2011 at 4:54 pm

Just how big is Netflix right now? Pretty darn big, if you believe the results of a study by “intelligent broadband” solutions provider Sandvine. During peak times, its streaming service accounts for a staggering 29.7 percent of all downstream Internet traffic, Sandvine says.

By itself, Netflix exceeds traffic for P2P file sharing, Web browsing, and real-time communications. By specific source, it far outpaces BitTorrent (at 11 percent) and YouTube (10 percent). Guess Comcast was throttling the wrong technology, eh?

Put that in perspective — that means one out of every four packets headed to an Internet user’s computer is delivering Netflix content, a pretty stunning ratio. It also is the biggest contributor to all real-time entertainment traffic, which is about half of all downstream data being delivered.

Could Netflix be ready to become the iTunes of streaming? I think so–and it may be all the more reason why Apple may want to throw its own hat into the ring.

With ISPs moving lately towards bandwidth caps, I wonder how much longer this growth in traffic from Netflix will be allowed to last. Executives were up in arms a few years back about how BitTorrent was clogging their pipes, but now it seems as if legal content is what’s now the biggest threat to bandwidth. Ain’t that ironic?


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9 Comments For This Post

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  3. Clam Says:

    Alright, now I understand why I it takes almost 10 minutes to download an 8 MB e-mail attachment at around 6 – 10:30 pm. While I'm still doing something related to work, folks are just kicking themselves back at home watching some movies (and probably porn). Dang!

  4. jltnol Says:

    It's not surprising at all that legal content is hogging the pipes. What is clear is that the telco's have not kept pace with demand by a long shot. Instead of building faster networks, they've decided to cap bandwidth, eventually leading to some tiered system, which will allow their less desirable and more expensive content priority over everyone and everything else.

    This is what happens with de-regulation… one person gets to hold all the marbles and call all the shots. While this works great for the stockholders and the executives who are bloated with cash on record profits, its not so good for the customer.

    I finally got the courage to cut the cable cord to my house…almost 2 years now and I'm much happier NOT being part of the GREED CREED of corporate America. I'm also considering doing the same to internet at home as well, since I have an iPhone and can be connected that way.

  5. Dave Says:

    No one is going to beat a service with as much content as Netflix offers for $9 a month with movie rentals that cost $5 per movie.

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