Print 87 comment(s) - last by Fritzr.. on Nov 10 at 3:01 AM

  (Source: Lifehacker)
New study fuels speculations that Netflix will cause an internet meltdown

Thanks to a study just released, some sources are theorizing that Netflix, the streaming video service, could have the potential to dominate the internet and gobble up American broadband.  

Netflix currently boasts over 15 million members and according to network management company Sandvine, their 2010 Global Internet Phenomena Report indicates that Netflix accounts for 20 percent of downstream traffic during peak periods beating out YouTube, iTunes, Hulu, and p2p file-sharing.  

The spike in online streaming video users for Netflix appears to have originated from customers in Canada.  The company's traditional DVD-by-mail service was not offered as an option to consumers there, they were only provided with the choice of streaming video.  

In the week following the launch of service to Canadians, 10 percent of Netflix online usage came from that country and video streaming usage numbers will continue to increase in Canada and are expected to rise exponentially in North America overall, according to Sandvine.

In response to the study, one online report suggests that another reason that Netflix may be gaining momentum could stem from the fact that while online users spend only moments at a time on YouTube, they tend to spend hours at a time on Netflix.

Despite growing suggestions that Netflix will stretch broadband capacity to the limit during peak hours, the co-founder of Akamai -- the company that boasts 77,000 servers with hard drives and is responsible for Netflix delivery of content with local servers -- reports that no one should be concerned about a surge of streaming video crashing the internet. 

"That video is growing rapidly and going to be huge is true," said Akamai's Tom Leighton. "But there's tons of capacity out at the edges of the network....plenty of capacity in the last mile to your house."

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Cry more bandwidth providers.
By Boze on 11/4/2010 8:51:16 PM , Rating: 5
I really wish I could find the article where I read this - its been a few years back, but I'll do my best to recollect what the article said.

Sometime in the mid-to-late 1990s, some forward-looking politicians gave (yes, they gave... as in "free") about $300 million in taxpayer dollars to cable companies and other bandwidth providers to upgrade their network infrastructure, in order to handle, what they believed, would be an explosion of traffic across the Internet.

So what happened to that $300 million? Good question. The article I read those years ago essentially summed it up as most of the providers pocketing the free cash and doing a bare minimum of upgrades.

Would that have solved the bandwidth woes we currently see now? I don't know - I doubt it... but it definitely shows that American companies at that time weren't interested one single bit in upgrading redundancy and capacity. They were interested in the almighty dollar.

Instead of post "record" profits for shareholders, these companies need to start pouring billions of that cash into infrastructure upgrades. And I'm not talking about looking out for the next 5 years. We need infrastructure that can handle the data requirements of the next 20 years, today. Right now. Data requirements for every aspect of digital life are only going to go keep going up, I can't understand how the top executives of companies like AT&T, Verizon, Level3, etc. can't look at the numbers and figure this out. I'm a barely college educated Joe Average and it didn't too much effort for me.

RE: Cry more bandwidth providers.
By MadDogMorgan on 11/4/2010 9:12:39 PM , Rating: 5
We don't need the bandwidth for the next 20 years today, we need enough for today. Your point is relatively good, taking out the hyperbole. I'm just suggesting that companies are not likely to buy the gear today to build up for projected (read: guessed) bandwidth requirements of years in the future. Nor would it make sense for them to. As technology marches forward in equipment development, the cost per Mb/sec of bandwidth decreases. They are better off financially to wait and only build what's needed today.

What we need is to allow the process of supply and demand to work. As demand increases, someone will be motivated by the promise of profit to supply a solution to that demand.

I wish the college of barely would require a course in capitalism as part of it's core curriculum as I didn't get one either when I graduated, barely.

I also think we (voters) need to work to eliminate government granted monopolies on internet service delivery. Give more suppliers a shot at delivering what's demanded without having to buy some special legislation from local officials.

By marvdmartian on 11/5/2010 10:44:01 AM , Rating: 1
The problem with building enough for today's needs is that by the time you're done building it, it's not today anymore. Make sense?

While building for 20 years from now isn't really feasible, due to the fact that (hopefully!) technology is going to be so far ahead of today in 20 years, that our best guess may fall drastically short of our needs, I would say that building for 5 years down the road is a good idea.

With, of course, the knowledge that once you're done upgrading, it will be time to upgrade again. Much like the cell phone companies put out 3G networks, knowing full well that by the time they got it fully implemented, they were going to have to have 4G ready to begin rolling out (and why they're likely already planning their 5G networks now).

RE: Cry more bandwidth providers.
By morgan12x on 11/4/2010 10:37:30 PM , Rating: 2
Interesting... I work for one of the companies you mentioned and we have just deployed a multi terabit backbone (as in 10+) and have much much more coming next year.

RE: Cry more bandwidth providers.
By Homerboy on 11/5/2010 9:26:38 AM , Rating: 2
WTF is a Terabit backbone?
Current max link speeds are 10Gbps/DWDM and similar technologies. Exactly where did you deploy a multi-terabit backone?

RE: Cry more bandwidth providers.
By RamarC on 11/5/2010 10:01:02 AM , Rating: 2
a terabit backbone aggregates multiple OC192s... that's why 10+ was mentioned (ten OC192s = 1 Tbps). they're also brand-spanking new (commercially deployable hardware only arrived late last year).

RE: Cry more bandwidth providers.
By Drag0nFire on 11/4/2010 10:39:02 PM , Rating: 3
Idk. My Verizon Fios is fast enough for pretty much anything I can throw at it. I think Verizon has been spending a lot of money on capital improvements over the last few years, and it's paid off big time. Vote with your $$ if you agree.

RE: Cry more bandwidth providers.
By Boze on 11/4/2010 11:55:18 PM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately that's the problem; I can't.

There are two mainstream choices for Internet access in my area. MetroCast Cable, and AT&T, for DSL. MetroCast offers 1 mbps up / 10 down, but you will never see 10 down. Ever. 10 reviews on Google, all 10 are 1 star. I would have given them 0 stars if I could have.

AT&T, while rock-solid in reliability, is fairly slow, capping out at 512 kbps up / 6 mbps down.

MetroCast is $56.95 a month, AT&T is $45 for a naked DSL line. What's infuriating about this is that back in 2004 when I lived in Honolulu, I paid $44.95 a month for 6 mbps up / 15 mbps down. When I lived in Virginia Beach from 2006 - 2008, I paid $59.95 for 6 mbps up / 30 mbps down.

The city has a population of 22,000 people according to the 2000 census; I've lived in smaller cities with much better Internet access. It really is unacceptable.

My roommate and I would happily pay the $50 to $200 a month or whatever it is for FIOS. All Verizon has to do is come lay down the fiber and I'll be the first person to sign up.

RE: Cry more bandwidth providers.
By Fritzr on 11/10/2010 3:01:18 AM , Rating: 2
Any chance you can convice Verizon to roll it a little bit farther...QWest here offers DSL & Dial-Up.

Of course Verizon will need a waiver of QWest's monopoly provider status to run FIOS out to this city. But in this corner of the city QWest doesn't even have DSL yet.

"I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen

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