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Will Netflix Destroy the Internet?

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the apocalypse-now-now dept.

Movies 577

nicholasjay writes "Netflix is swallowing America's bandwidth and it probably won't be long before it comes for the rest of the world. That's one of the headlines from Sandvine's Fall 2010 Global Internet Phenomena Report, an exhaustive look at what people around the world are doing with their Internet lines. According to Sandvine, Netflix accounts for 20 percent of downstream Internet traffic during peak home Internet usage hours in North America. That's an amazing share — it beats that of YouTube, iTunes, Hulu, and, perhaps most tellingly, the peer-to-peer file-sharing protocol BitTorrent."

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So, how long before... (5, Interesting)

Nevo (690791) | more than 3 years ago | (#34124772)

...my ISP starts punishing me for using the Internet to do legal things that the Internet was designed for?

Re:So, how long before... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34124820)

I'm sorry ... but I don't believe the guys who originally designed the Internet ever envisioned Netflix.

Re:So, how long before... (4, Funny)

cream wobbly (1102689) | more than 3 years ago | (#34124902)

Your ISP (among others) will punish you for doing things the Internet was originally designed for.

Unless you work for, or are an ally of, the US Military, that is...

Re:So, how long before... (1, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#34124968)

Your ISP (among others) will punish you for doing things the Internet was originally designed for.

Unless you work for, or are an ally of, the US Military, that is...

Darn, I was planning to invade Iraq

Re:So, how long before... (2, Interesting)

The Mighty Buzzard (878441) | more than 3 years ago | (#34124954)

I dare say you'd be wrong. Envisioning things way ahead of where they currently were was pretty much their job description.

Re:So, how long before... (2, Insightful)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 3 years ago | (#34125118)

with 2^32 addresses?

Shhhhh, will you keep it down? (1)

Qubit (100461) | more than 3 years ago | (#34125256)

I have a feeling Vint Cerf is going to show up and start apologizing again for limiting us to that small pool of addresses.

Re:So, how long before... (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 3 years ago | (#34125158)

Bullshit.Video jukebox in the sky has been a dream for many MANY decades.

Re:So, how long before... (1, Funny)

gblackwo (1087063) | more than 3 years ago | (#34125234)

Al Gore is a pretty smart guy, i'm pretty sure he would've seen something like Netflix coming.

How does never work for you (2, Informative)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#34124922)

Most ISP's in the US already have a (high) data cap. Whatever you do under that, they will not care. If there were (or are) any ISP's with "unlimited" bandwidth then they will have to change policy also to have some kind of data cap, because they do not get "unlimited" bandwidth from the people they purchase internet connectivity from.

Re:How does never work for you (3, Funny)

Anubis350 (772791) | more than 3 years ago | (#34125054)

Most business class connections and up are true unlimited, based on the connection speed, not on the amount. Verizon doesn't care if I max out my FIOS business class connection 24/7, I'm paying a premium for the connection, and they're providing me the bandwidth I'm paying for. To put it another way, they've allocated that trunk as if it were going to be heavily used, and so aren't over-selling as much as on the consumer connections.

Re:So, how long before... (4, Insightful)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 3 years ago | (#34124926)

Does your electrical company increase your rates or move to a higher tier if you run appliances all day long? What about your water company? I know in my area both of these apply. Which is why it's cheaper to have water trucked in than it is to use the old garden hose. If I was closer to a fire hydrant I could ask the water company to run a line and hook up a meter as well.

Or are you just a bit sore that your 500GB limit, which probably equates to 100 netflix movies a month will be used up? If you're watching 100 netflix movies a month I suggest you try using that other service called..

FRESH AIR.

Re:So, how long before... (3, Informative)

LHorstman (572584) | more than 3 years ago | (#34125070)

The FRESH AIR service is over rated. It's polluted by too much reality programming.

Re:So, how long before... (1, Troll)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#34125178)

"500GB Limit."

I love how retards like you fail to understand how bandwidth works.

You're not paying for a certain amount of downloads per month as if you were buying gas. You're paying for a pipe with a certain momentary capacity measurable in a very small time frame, say 100mbit/second.

When they start advertising "high max data speeds" but then implement a cap that works out to a piddly-crap connection worse than dialup (the standard crapass USA ISP like Comcrap, or Coxsuckers at 150GB limit equals 0.45 Mbit/second), they are committing false advertising, plain and simple.

Re:So, how long before... (1)

mini me (132455) | more than 3 years ago | (#34125184)

Does your electrical company increase your rates or move to a higher tier if you run appliances all day long?

Yes. Here in Ontario usage during peak periods is charged at a higher rate than off-peak periods. Not exactly the same method ISPs are using, but the idea is the same: To reduce consumption of an infrastructure that cannot support the demand.

Re:So, how long before... (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#34125248)

Yeah except your quaint analogy breaks down where it meets the fact that I didn't enter into a contract with the electric and/or water company for unlimited electricity and/or water for $/mo. US residential internet service is not usually pay-as-you-go, and I know few who want it to be. My ISP is going to give me what they are advertising or I'll switch ISPs. Caps are acceptable so long as they are clearly defined and reasonable.

Re:So, how long before... (1)

ShavedOrangutan (1930630) | more than 3 years ago | (#34124946)

...my ISP starts punishing me for using the Internet to do legal things that the Internet was designed for?

As soon as you reach the bandwidth cap that is specified in the fine print of the TOS.

At that point, they'd be happy to sell you access to HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, etc..

Re:So, how long before... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34124964)

Umm, the internet was designed to be a redundant communications network to keep military bases connected. It was to address the concern that a nuclear war would knock out communication to underground bunkers at the Pentagon, Cheyenne Mountain, and SAC HQ.
It was never envisioned to be a commercial or entertainment vehicle.

the sooner the better (1)

t2t10 (1909766) | more than 3 years ago | (#34124976)

The Internet wasn't "designed for" delivering DVDs. It can certainly handle it, but you should pay for the bandwidth and volume you actually use. High bandwith requirements and high data volume = you should pay more.

The answer is - Never (4, Interesting)

arivanov (12034) | more than 3 years ago | (#34124994)

Never.

Netflix is not Bittorent and has a well defined source which is a commercial entity. So the ISP knows after who it needs to go. Further to this, as it is not P2P traffic Netflix itself has no choice but to grow its infrastructure if it is to retain its service level. Otherwise it will congest its links to ISPs and kill its own service offering.

So Netflix will have to start building its network infrastructure and peer with ISPs close to the user across the US and the globe.

We have already been through this. Before it was Google/Youtube destroying the Internet. Well it did not. Simply Google now has a backbone which can put most tier 1s to shame and peers with anyone anywhere.

Most importantly, the number of links and peerings will increase so the end result will be GOOD for the Internet as it will become more resilient (Assuming ISPs use local/distributed peering not just for Netflix but for the other peering).

Re:The answer is - Never (5, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#34125136)

Netflix is not Bittorent and has a well defined source which is a commercial entity. So the ISP knows after who it needs to go.

Netflix already pays its ISPs. There's no one for anyone to "go after".

No, it's just static content. (1)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 3 years ago | (#34125258)

All they need is a few file servers colocated at major ISPs to handle the most popular movies - this is way cheaper than serving the same enormous files repeatedly around the world. Make a deal with Akamai - problem solved. Or hell just acquire them.

Re:So, how long before... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34125026)

I agree.... the ISP's cannot now use the tired old excuse for throttling traffic: "Well, we are only blocking illegal filesharing."

Last I heard, I pay for netflix and it is properly licensed, so.... what you gonna do Mr. ISP man????

Not supposed to use products the right way (1)

captainpanic (1173915) | more than 3 years ago | (#34125044)

...my ISP starts punishing me for using the Internet to do legal things that the Internet was designed for?

Don't you know that you're not supposed to use products for what they're supposed to be used for?

Re:So, how long before... (2, Insightful)

Elbart (1233584) | more than 3 years ago | (#34125150)

Guess what Sandvine is selling: http://www.sandvine.com/customers/cable_providers.asp [sandvine.com] "Differentiated Services -- prioritize multimedia applications to ensure a high-quality online experience for subscribers (VoIP, IPTV, gaming)"

Re:So, how long before... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34125218)

Odds are, you and I are already being published for using our connections legally.

Ad. injections in stream, site DNS captures and redirects... Find me a provider who leaves their ISP customers alone and manages their network with ease, and you'll being looking at someone who is about to be bought out by a larger Corporate whore wanting to exploit a functioning market.

Running an efficient technology company is frowned upon in this age. Unless you are screwing your customers while maximizing profits, you're pretty much un-American. At this point, I'm not sure Net-Neut. legislation is going to honestly solve all this.

Re:So, how long before... (1)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 3 years ago | (#34125230)

I thought it was youtube that was killing the net, then it was bittorrent and now this?
Next week it will be refreshing social sites that's doing it.

Keep fear alive!

Re:So, how long before... (5, Interesting)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#34125260)

I don't know. This could be a GOOD thing. Previously, there seemed to be some stigma attached to high bandwidth users. Anyone who was using a lot of bandwidth was "obviously" doing SOMETHING shady. With the birth of services like this, it's starting to become quite common for regular old users to suck-up lots of bandwidth. I think the ISP's may finally have to pony up some dough and upgrade their infrastructure.

Of course, if they'd had a bit of sense, they'd have realized a simple truth that applies to almost any computer usage, be it processing power, bandwidth, or anything else: today's power users use what tommorow's regular users are. Rather than trying to persecute your heavy users, use them as a metric to gauge what you need to roll out.

Will posting inflammatory headlines (5, Insightful)

Nimey (114278) | more than 3 years ago | (#34124780)

destroy Slashdot?

It's well on the way - /. just isn't as relevant as it was years back.

Re:Will posting inflammatory headlines (2, Interesting)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 3 years ago | (#34124846)

And yet it gets tons of page views. The bottom line is that the parent company has chosen to go more after dollars than making a niche group happy. Take from that what you will.

Re:Will posting inflammatory headlines (1)

Wook Man (79498) | more than 3 years ago | (#34124980)

It's well on the way - /. just isn't as relevant as it was years back.

It never was.

The answer is... (5, Funny)

adamgolding (871654) | more than 3 years ago | (#34124790)

Yes. Clearly Netflix will 'destroy the internet'.

Re:The answer is... (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 3 years ago | (#34124880)

First it went for Blockbuster, and I didn't complain because Blockbuster sucked ass. But now, with their chops still bloody, they turn their heads towards the internet? Can the entire collapse of civilization be far behind? Why, Netflix, Why?!?

Re:The answer is... (1)

obergfellja (947995) | more than 3 years ago | (#34125040)

DEATH TO ALL HUMANS!! (except Fry) - Bender from Futurama. NetFlix is the Bender of our time.

Re:The answer is... (0, Troll)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 3 years ago | (#34125242)

Oh, I don't know... does Netflix run on anything other than IE and maybe Safari and PS3 yet? Aren't all those platforms dying out?

Maybe Netflix will save computers as we know it! Oh, wait, looks like they have an iphone app. We're doomed.

Seriously, is there a way to stream Netflix under Linux yet (aside from in a VM?)

Re:The answer is... (1)

cream wobbly (1102689) | more than 3 years ago | (#34124920)

Except in certain markets, where apparently, the Internet will destroy Netflix.

Re:The answer is... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34125016)

Except in certain markets, where apparently, the Internet will destroy Netflix.

Damn those soviet russian markets!

Re:The answer is... a Conspiracy (0, Flamebait)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34125008)

Oh it definately will. But it will have nothing to do with bandwidth costs, upstream this or downstream that. It won't be an issue for ISP's, or have anything to do with network stablity, neutrality, or anything else you'd normally expect.

Netflix is part of an inter-communal group of corporations with "Net" in their name. NetZero. NetPlus. To name a few. Netscape is their browser of choice, and for very obvious reasons. If any of you have ever used Netscape, you know that it likes to freeze and crash, very often. However, it's not actually freezing and it's not actually crashing. It's only just letting you think that. It's actually donating compute cycles to their secret project, Net@home. The Founder and master of this group is of course, NetNet. They have the most Net so they have the most say.

As you might have googled, NetNet is a long distance learning association based out of NorthEast Texas, with a sub-par web site that actually hurts my eyes a little to read, something about the black on white or tiny fonts. What could they possibly want to do with all the extra processing power they get from the Net@home project? It's simple, they're into learning, intelligence, they want to build an AI. They've actually written all the code, but it is massive, and their C++ compiler is taking a while. The end goal? SkyNet.

So you might be asking, what is Netflix's part of this grand-scheme? Well - the internet is one of the best mediums for communication to date. Any direct attacks on it would be met with resistance, and possibly blow the whole plot wide open. So they subtly take up more and more bandwidth just to slow the internet. Every second counts when the war breaks loose. And If they can disrupt our communication just long enough to get the upper hand... well... you can imagine what comes next.

I think this is the part where I tell you I'm a robot who has come back in time - but that would probably violate causality, and I don't want that stigma hanging over my head. In fact, forget everything I just said.

Re:The answer is... (1)

morcego (260031) | more than 3 years ago | (#34125224)

Wasn't there a Netcraft report about that ?

Re:The answer is... (1)

uncanny (954868) | more than 3 years ago | (#34125226)

If only George Bush was still here to save us from these [9/11] internets and declare war on them! Our free[9/11]dom depends on it!

Oh I hope so (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 3 years ago | (#34124792)

"won't be long before it comes for the rest of the world"

I'm moving outside the US next year and I really would love not to have to jump through hoops to keep using Netflix.

Re:Oh I hope so (1)

Imagix (695350) | more than 3 years ago | (#34125022)

Canada has Netflix now... but the lineup of shows is restricted, probably due to distribution agreements.

Re:Oh I hope so (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 3 years ago | (#34125236)

Well - if that's a glimpse of how it will work, I guess I'll be sticking to my original plans. Which is a bummer as I'd like to be able to keep streaming via my wii but that will be out. I'll be in Europe, and 'soon' is probably not all that accurate any way.

Bandwidth? (5, Insightful)

Joehonkie (665142) | more than 3 years ago | (#34124800)

Well, that bandwidth is what I pay my ISP for...

Re:Bandwidth? (4, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34125006)

Indeed. I think it's more accurate to say that deregulation and a lack of oversight are killing the internet. The companies aren't making the upgrades necessary to keep up with demand and are instead trying to charge more for less. The cost of DSL service here hasn't gone up, but the speed and bandwidth haven't either. With amortization schedules and the cost of bandwidth being what they are, you wouldn't expect that.

Well, you wouldn't expect that if there was any competition and the ISPs actually cared what the consumers wanted. Worse, I live in a major city, it's doubtless much worse outside of major cities.

Wait... I thought bit torrent had that title (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 3 years ago | (#34124806)

The internet exists to be used.

If people use more bandwidth, then providers will adjust prices, install new capacity, and then it will be fine.

I'm more concerned about IP addresses (which is not much) than I am about capacity issues.

If bandwidth cost to netflix increases, then they will slow down bandwidth (so maybe it takes 60 seconds to start a movie instead of 10 seconds). Or maybe they offer a lower bandwidth option.

Re:Wait... I thought bit torrent had that title (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34124952)

The internet exists to be used.

If people use more bandwidth, then providers will adjust prices, install new capacity, and then it will be fine.

I'm more concerned about IP addresses (which is not much) than I am about capacity issues.

If bandwidth cost to netflix increases, then they will slow down bandwidth (so maybe it takes 60 seconds to start a movie instead of 10 seconds). Or maybe they offer a lower bandwidth option.

Just sit back and watch the free market work it's magic. //stops beating on libertarian drum.//

Re:Wait... I thought bit torrent had that title (1)

arketh (887647) | more than 3 years ago | (#34124978)

Didn't a lot of the telecoms lay down tons of dark fiber during the .com boom that they didn't need? Well let's put it all to use!

Re:Wait... I thought bit torrent had that title (1)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 3 years ago | (#34125042)

Easier said than done. That last mile is uphill, both ways, covered in landmines, and guarded by paramilitary organizations. At least, that's what the lack of progress in this area has lead me to believe

Re:Wait... I thought bit torrent had that title (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34125060)

That's really not what you want. The cost of bandwidth at the wholesaler level has been going down for years, it's the ISPs that don't pay for enough of it to cover the need that are the problem.

Yes, they can institute caps and raise rates, but all that does is stifle innovation. We wouldn't have youtube at all, if the ISPs had been handling things like this during the Clinton administration. The last time that speeds around here increased by anything significant was in the late 90s. I'm still stuck with a connection that's only 1 Mbps faster than it was in 2000, when it was 4mbps. Meanwhile in other countries it's not unheard of to have speeds that are several times faster. Hell even in this country there's speeds much faster than that available.

Re:Wait... I thought bit torrent had that title (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34125086)

install new capacity

Did you just say that ISP's will upgrade?

How long have you been using the internet?

Re:Wait... I thought bit torrent had that title (1)

demonbug (309515) | more than 3 years ago | (#34125130)

If bandwidth cost to netflix increases, then they will slow down bandwidth (so maybe it takes 60 seconds to start a movie instead of 10 seconds). Or maybe they offer a lower bandwidth option.

Don't even suggest it, or they'll be all over that in an instant. I recently jumped ship from Blockbuster (stayed with them for a long time because we lived just down the street from a store, and our plan allowed unlimited free trade-ins) largely because of the streaming service, but have found that the picture quality is barely adequate as it is. They need to offer higher quality in general, not lower quality options. Cut it down any more and I'll be going... well, I'm not sure what alternative there is, I guess to bittorrent (more likely just quit watching movies and TV entirely; as it is, I pretty much only use netflix for TV shows, as I don't really have time these days to sit through movies).

(Off-topic, but hooray! It looks like Slashdot finally fixed the issue that prevented me from placing the cursor in the right half of the comment box, though it looks like they had to go with an ugly-ass fixed-width font to do it)

OK, and? (4, Informative)

MonsterTrimble (1205334) | more than 3 years ago | (#34124844)

Two things:

First, they've known this was coming for ages. P2P have been around well over a decade and everybody knew people were downloading movies and TV shows and watching them on their computer. It's just hitting bigtime mainstream now and Netflix was the first commercial entity which did it right.

Second, the 'Will Porn/Youtube/Torrents/P2P/Netflix/etc Destroy The Internet?" articles have been around for ages. The providers adapt, the technology adapts.

Netflix rocks! (5, Funny)

mrflash818 (226638) | more than 3 years ago | (#34124852)

... and that is 20% of the internet's bandwidth no longer available to email spammers, too.

win-win

so wait a minute.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34124864)

if you give them a way to pay for the movies they will? don't be silly that WILL NEVER WORK OR MAKE MONEY, right BLOCKBUSTER? HAR HAR HAR fuck your late fees.

Re:so wait a minute.... (1)

boristdog (133725) | more than 3 years ago | (#34125220)

Exactly.

MPAA: Pirates are destroying us! People download movies for nothing!

Lawyers: SUE! SUE!

People: Hey, we'll pay if we can stream them online.

ISPs: WAAH! You're using all our bandwidth!

Lawyers: CHARGE HUGE FEES! SUE!

People: Why don't you ISPs and MPAA folks get together and use all that government money we gave you to invest in more bandwidth, allowing you both to make even more money and keep your customers happy?

Lawyers: I don't see how WE can make money off that. KEEP THE GOV'T HANDOUTS! SUE THE CUSTOMER!

Eh ? (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34124870)

destroy ? arent we fucking PAYING for the bandwidth we are using ? so, in short, arent we using MORE of the product the isps are delivering, and they are making more money ?

if they are not INVESTING that money to provide MORE products, therefore supplying the demand, that means they are going totally contrary to the logic of 'free market'.

and excuse me, but that is not us consumers' problem. its their stupidity.

Ah! (1)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | more than 3 years ago | (#34125082)

As a collective "we", yes we're paying for it.
But you're not "unity100 of Borg".

At some point, some of us are going to realize "we" as individuals are paying for the bandwidth usage of others. You look at your ISP bill and realize half of what you're paying (say, $360/year - whatever it is, it's a lot of money out of your pocket) is going to fund someone else's movie marathons. Or maybe it's you enjoying the subsidized streaming video, and I'm deciding to have a chat with my ISP about why I'm shelling out $60/mo for a fraction of a fraction of the bandwidth you're paying the same for.

Hence "net neutrality" - and why it will fail.

Re:Eh ? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34125116)

You must be new here. The ISPs sell more bandwidth than what they have, similar to how airlines sell more seats than their plane has. Unlike Airlines which provide perks for being bumped, ISPs respond by giving you less and citing the fact that they only promised to provide up to a certain speed.

Re:Eh ? (1)

farble1670 (803356) | more than 3 years ago | (#34125140)

destroy ? arent we fucking PAYING for the bandwidth we are using ? so, in short, arent we using MORE of the product the isps are delivering, and they are making more money ?

unless you live in bizarro world your ISP doesn't make more $ if you download more. you pay a flat fee. of course they'd rather you download less because that means they need less infrastructure to support you, it's cheaper for them, and their profits are higher.

ISPs depend on the fact that most people consume much, much less than they could. if everyone streamed netflix (or whatever) 12 hours a day, your rates would go up as they'd need to add capacity to handle that.

I can confirm this story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34124884)

I can confirm this story and will remain anon for obvious reasons.

Having talked with a few individuals at Akamai, the Netflix streaming issue is a major issue right now. Demand drives innovation: but demand drives suppliers into the market, the real question is how much of a hiccup in our individual service will we see as a result of this?

Food for thought, nothing more.

Re:I can confirm this story (2, Interesting)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34125174)

Perhaps the solution is for ISPs to stop lying about how much bandwidth they can provide? Seriously, they charge Netflix and me to stream movies to me, if they can't provide the amount of bandwidth they're promising, then they need to do something about it.

Unfortunately that something is going to target the consumer because the government lacks the balls to tell a corporation to go fuck itself and compete for business.

I'm no expert, but as I see it (1)

Anrego (830717) | more than 3 years ago | (#34124888)

..the problem is that ISPs have been selling us the "bandwidth" to do this kind of activity for years. Bandwidth is in quotes because "back in the day" if you actually used the bandwidth you were paying for, they suspended your account as the likely reason for a residential user to draw any serious transfer was piracy.

Now there are lots of legitimate "every day" uses that draw the massive bandwidth that ISPs have been using as a big magic number when selling service, and the ISPs can't (or can't for long) handle it.

There are a few solutions I see:

- implement rediculously low caps. You get 15mbps .. but can only download 60GB a month
- upgrade infrastructure, and have consumers pay for the product they are actually getting (that is, if you paid for 15mbps, you can use 15mbps 24/7 if you want).
- take the media industry approach of lobbying and suing everything that moves

And I think we know which two are most likely :(

Re:I'm no expert, but as I see it (1)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 3 years ago | (#34125120)

..the problem is that ISPs have been selling us the "bandwidth" to do this kind of activity for years. Bandwidth is in quotes because "back in the day" if you actually used the bandwidth you were paying for, they suspended your account as the likely reason for a residential user to draw any serious transfer was piracy.

Just so we're clear, what you're doing is blatantly generalizing. I've been on the Internet in some form or the other since about 1990. I've used probably dozens of ISPs and in multiple states, and I have never once had my account shut down or limited due to bandwidth usage. In fact I don't even remember ever hearing about this as a problem!

Sure if you've got comcast I understand they're doing it. I would not use comcast for this reason. But to claim that the problem is more widespread than it is (or at least WAS more widespread than it was then) is wrong.

Streaming Netflix was disappointing (0)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#34124890)

"I had what I thought was a good excuse for going over to the dark side—there wasn't a good way to get movies and TV shows legally online. Yes, Netflix offered a streaming service called Watch Instantly, but I wrote that the company's streaming service "often feels like Settle-For Instantly, since many of the titles are of the airline-movie variety."

Streaming Netflix has NOTHING last time I used it on my Roku box. I only found some of the worst b-rated movies and documentaries and a tiny amount of semi-new releases. No Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark...nothing.

Re:Streaming Netflix was disappointing (1)

Sonny Yatsen (603655) | more than 3 years ago | (#34124998)

I don't find Netflix's selection too bad, personally - then again, I watch a lot of documentaries (seriously, it's got Cosmos AND Ken Burn's Civil War, what more do you need?). As far as the selection being bad, that's not really Netflix's fault so much as it's the content owners.

Re:Streaming Netflix was disappointing (2, Informative)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 3 years ago | (#34125206)

As TFA implies, selection has improved greatly over the past year or two.

Re:Streaming Netflix was disappointing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34125014)

It's less then stellar, however, it's collection is GROWING. When I first bought a roku box, the choices were severely limited - now their catalog grows quite a bit weekly. I've gone ahead and dumped cable...but I also pirate the other movies I can't get on Netflix. It will only get better in time.

Re:Streaming Netflix was disappointing (1)

Wook Man (79498) | more than 3 years ago | (#34125076)

Streaming Netflix has NOTHING last time I used it on my Roku box. I only found some of the worst b-rated movies and documentaries and a tiny amount of semi-new releases. No Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark...nothing.

This. No movies from the last 5, or sometimes 10 years. The quality of Netflix "HD" content is almost, but not, as good as a DVD. The non-HD content looks really bad even on just a 46" HD TV, which isn't huge by today's standards. Pretty disappointing.

If they ever fix this -- have current movies at good quality -- then the bandwidth required will be HUGE. That could take some adjusting.

Re:Streaming Netflix was disappointing (1)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 3 years ago | (#34125152)

There's a few good movies. Moon, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Aliens, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Full Metal Jacket, Serenity (and The show, Firefly). There is a huge amount of B movies though.

Re:Streaming Netflix was disappointing (1)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 3 years ago | (#34125168)

No, streaming netflix often does NOT have the huge classic movies. It does have some really good stuff on it though, and stuff that changes, so you sometimes do find the big movies. It's got a lot of TV shows (HD quality often) very frequently, a lot of children's material, and also a lot of (for lack of a better word) eclectic stuff on it. I've watched a ton of Werner Herzog films (may not be your thing, but I enjoyed seeing them).

But no, if you're looking to rewatch only blockbusters on streaming, it's probably not for you.

Re:Streaming Netflix was disappointing (1)

b0bby (201198) | more than 3 years ago | (#34125208)

Streaming Netflix has NOTHING last time I used it on my Roku box. I only found some of the worst b-rated movies and documentaries and a tiny amount of semi-new releases. No Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark...nothing.

I have over 200 items in my instant queue - admittedly there are a lot of kids' shows in there, but there are also a lot of good movies. Foreign movies, documentaries, tv series, etc. Sure, the latest movies and blockbusters aren't there, but there's always something decent (IMHO) available, and the new ones I just get them to send a disc. I really like the streaming service and watch more on there than discs these days. I've already seen Star Wars & Raiders, so I'm not too pressed about having them instantly available.

What happened to the Dark Fiber? (2, Interesting)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 3 years ago | (#34124892)

Remember when the internet bubble burst? People were pumping ooodles of money into fiber optic companies saying, "no matter who wins the internet race the infrastructure companies will be minting money. Remember the shovel makers made money in the gold rush than the prospectors." And when the bubble burst we had thousands and thousands of miles of fiber cables with the unused "dark" fiber strands out numbering the used strands by a huge factor. People were touting numbers as high as 1: 99 lit:dark ratio. So it should be possible to bring them on line and increase the internet bandwidth by orders of magnitude without too much of additional investment. Or so pontificating pundits were prognosticating.

Re:What happened to the Dark Fiber? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34125002)

Dark fiber is dark because it is in areas where it isn't needed.

Re:What happened to the Dark Fiber? (2, Interesting)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 3 years ago | (#34125238)

His point is that need is increasing.

Dark fiber is dark because in areas that needed 1 fiber, the additional cost to run a bundle of fibers was miniscule. (Labor costs to lay the fiber dominated the material costs.)

Probably on the line of 1 fiber might cost 100 million, and 100 fibers might cost 101 million.

So if we go past the capacity of one fiber, we can in theory light up another. In practice, there might be space constraints at the endpoints that weren't thought of when the big bundles were laid down.

Re:What happened to the Dark Fiber? (3, Interesting)

alen (225700) | more than 3 years ago | (#34125056)

it was all bought up long ago and there was an article here a few weeks ago how most of it has been lit up and the bandwidth has almost been used up.

Re:What happened to the Dark Fiber? (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#34125102)

SHH!! If anyone found out that we could just plop in $500 worth of hardware, light up a couple more fibers and quintuple their bandwidth, we'd be lynched.

Re:What happened to the Dark Fiber? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34125114)

The problem you have is Last Mile Infrastructure. The backbones of top level ISPs can handle this stuff without even breaking a sweat. But the ISPs that residential customers deal with, Comcast et. al., get rather stingy when it comes to making sure their last mile infrastructure can even handle a fraction of the numbers that their marketing departments spout all over the place.

Re:What happened to the Dark Fiber? (4, Insightful)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 3 years ago | (#34125148)

All the dark fiber in the world won't help solve the Last Mile problem.

Re:What happened to the Dark Fiber? (1)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 3 years ago | (#34125188)

You still have to get that bandwidth to the last mile. Your backbone can run at 2^64 bps, but if everyone gets to it by dialup, it doesn't matter.

Quickly! (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#34124912)

We must encourage our ISPs to go out and buy Sandvine's DPI hardware and encourage them to immediately throttle and slow data streaming from Netflix!

Oh hey, my ISP is offering their own video streaming service...

Already a non-starter in Canada (5, Informative)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 3 years ago | (#34124924)

The average person has a 60gb cap in Canada. People have quickly found out that they can blow through 1/2 to 3/4's of their monthly cap in a weekend. I'm sure it'll be more interesting as winter rolls around, we like snow, hockey, and all that. But curling up to watch a movie or 4 when it's -40C and snowing out is much better fun. Especially if there's a 30% chance you're going to spend 3hrs shoveling.

But sandvine is a blight on the internet. You can happily hear about all the horror stories(look on dslreports.com) that they've inflicted on Canadians, as ISP's use their equipment to throttle just about everything. Bell enjoys using them after the last mile, before switching to outside networks, even when you're on another ISP. So regardless of what happens, you're still being throttled by bell. Rogers like using it to throttle everywhere, that they think the consumption might be too high, or where growth is outpacing their delayed upgrades.

Re: Everything in canada sucks (0)

js3 (319268) | more than 3 years ago | (#34125246)

Maybe not the women, they are ok but consumer prices in Canada are outrageous. The only reason I see this happening is because Canadians can afford it, fuck back when I lived in Ontario they had a "sewer tax".. that's right you pay for the frigging sewer underneath your house in addition to your normal yearly federal and provisional tax. They tax everything, if it has a name it is taxed. If a car costs 20k in the U.S it's 30K in Canada, cellphone prices are the highest in the world, etc etc.

It's amazing how anyone can afford anything.

netflix will price itself out before it happens (2, Interesting)

alen (225700) | more than 3 years ago | (#34124988)

i have netflix and the streaming selection is pretty bad compared to the DVD selection. the reason is that they haven't struck deals with most content creators yet.

my cable bill is $130 a month for TV/DVR/Internet/phone and from what i've read approximately $30 of that goes to the content creators. for netflix to offer all the content there is they will probably have to raise their prices as they strike new deals for more content, especially if it will include movies and new TV shows that just played the night before.

if i wanted to dump cable i'd have to pay more for a la carte internet and more to AT&T to increase my cell phone plan to unlimited minutes. it would kill the entire deal since it makes more sense to just pay $10 a month for a DVR

and this theory is based on just he financials of striking content deals. netflix will have to pay a lot more in bandwidth costs as the amount of content increases.

i don't understand the entire streaming fad. it's only around because the cable companies are always a few years behind. with digital/HD cable what you watch on your cable box is essentially streaming except it's a lot more efficient than netflix's TCP/IP over the internet version. the cable companies just need to update their software and service selection

Heads in the Cloud (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#34124990)

It's interesting that Netflix's success which is seen as a possible downfall of the internet is happening at a time where the industry giants are pushing for cloud-based computing where everything would be done remotely from servers with no localized software.

North America only (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34124996)

"According to Sandvine, Netflix accounts for 20 percent of downstream Internet traffic during peak home Internet usage hours in North America."

20% in NA, but what about oversea countries like Korea, UK, and Japan? Their bandwidth is crazy high compared to what we have here. If they have similar service like Netflix, I doubt its even close to 20 percent.

It is time for us to upgrade our bandwidth here to accommodate services like Netflix, YouTube, etc..

Everybody is being paid just fine. (3, Insightful)

RyanFenton (230700) | more than 3 years ago | (#34125046)

Oh noes! They're taking the bandwidth! Except everyone's being paid, and its still cheaper all around per movie than using the mail. The cable companies are being paid for internet access, the entertainment owners are paid for the right to distribute the content, all the equipment is more than being paid for - and everyone is making a profit.

The fact that it's using 20% of the bandwidth isn't alarming either - a movie is a lot of web pages/email/etc., but everyone involved can afford to keep the equipment running, and do a little infrastructure expansion to get more customers needs met, all to make more profit.

This isn't the end either - the moment some form of mass entertainment can be created that legitimately requires more bandwidth, and a service provider can successfully provide that bandwidth to unseat the other service providers, then they will do that, and will likely use several times more bits per second - and by then it will be even cheaper relative to the gasoline used for mail service.

The real alarm is that this process is making other forms of entertainment less relatively appealing to the masses. The cable companies don't like playing the role of bulk service providers in a realm they prefer to be premium content providers in - and thanks to monopoly powers, they're considering providing a non-neutral-net internet service in the name of "saving bandwidth" to fight Netflix's little game.

Ryan Fenton

One tiny problem... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34125072)

...and it probably won't be long before it comes for the rest of the world.

There's only one tiny problem about this.....NETFLIX IS ONLY AVAILABLE IN THE U.S. YOU IDIOTS.
Not only do you get to keep it to yourselves but then you rub summaries like this in our faces?

Re:One tiny problem... (1)

yincrash (854885) | more than 3 years ago | (#34125146)

(and canada)

Yes (1)

saurongt (1639029) | more than 3 years ago | (#34125078)

Yeah, all teh tubes will clog up and then all the crap (read /b/) will start pouring out.

capital investment of profits (1)

jameson71 (540713) | more than 3 years ago | (#34125090)

So you mean the ISP companies may have to forgo the multimillion dollar bonuses for c-level executives for a bit and make capital investments in their network with some of their profits? .

No one uses the internet anymore... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34125092)

...it's too crowded

Comment on the statistics (5, Informative)

twoallbeefpatties (615632) | more than 3 years ago | (#34125156)

Excuse my trolling for karma here, but there's a good comment below that article that's worth noting (which I only remembered because I saw this article when it was first posted a while ago).

Farhad, Allow me to make one clarification on the Sandvine report cited. While the growth of Netflix has certainly been dramatic, it does not (yet) account for 90% of Internet traffic on any of the networks included in our study. Rather, As you noted correctly, we did see Netflix accounting for approximately 20% of downstream traffic in North America.

The confusion on the 90% stat probably resulted from a misreading of one of the graphs featured in our “Spotlight On: Netflix” on page 15 of our Fall Global Internet Phenomena report. The graph was accompanied with the caption “An average day for Netflix on this network, peaking at 9:30pm” This particular graph (taken from a single network in Canada) shows Netflix traffic throughout the day as a relative percentage of the peak amount of Netflix traffic. In this case, the peak was reached at 9:30pm, so the curve at that point has a value of 100%. The rest of the curve shows how Netflix traffic varies: so we see that at midnight the level of Netflix is approximately 42% of what it was at 9:30pm. In hindsight, I think we probably could have explained this better in our report.

Our Network Analytics product produces these “Time of Day” graphs so that network operators can understand how subscriber usage of various applications, services, or categories of application vary throughout a typical day. Thanks again for the interesting article.

Sincerely, Tom Donnelly, EVP Marketing, Sandvine

Pirates? (1)

zandeez (1917156) | more than 3 years ago | (#34125164)

This makes the "Piracy is destroying the Movie industry" argument null and void if you ask me, as it is evident that more people will stream movies legally than download them illegally...

Please (1)

rundgong (1575963) | more than 3 years ago | (#34125172)

Stop saying bandwidth hogs will destroy the internet.
If you want more bandwidth in the backbone you connect another one of the already laid out fibers or you put a few more fibers into the ground.
Torrents didn't destroy the internet, and neither did youtube or any other of the previous high bandwidth services. This is not a problem.

On to something (1)

nate_wilbanks (887778) | more than 3 years ago | (#34125176)

I think the folks at Netflix could really be on to something here.

Kipper the Dog (1)

Orga (1720130) | more than 3 years ago | (#34125182)

I know I'm always streaming Kipper at my house. The dog with the slipper, that's Kipper.

Using the internet will destroy it, story at 11 (3, Funny)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#34125204)

Yes, using the Internet for transporting data between machines will destroy it. We must avoid using the Internet in order to save it so that it will be there for future generations to not use!

Nothing wrong with that (1)

HalAtWork (926717) | more than 3 years ago | (#34125216)

We knew that we were headed in this direction; Services moving onto the internet, digital delivery, etc. Netflix aren't they only ones, we have YouTube, Hulu, Steam, OnLive!, PSN, Xbox/Windows Live!, every device has some form of app store and streaming video playback. Devices such as the Boxee Box are being built solely for that purpose. If you have any type of clue, you'll know that future applications of internet connectivity will be more bandwidth intensive.

We've been paying our ISPs, phone companies, and cable companies, who, like any other business, is changing to meet new demands and competing to stay relevant. These companies continue to reinvest in their own infrastructure and researching more efficient delivery to meet the demands of consumers. I mean, they're not just sitting around in the middle of this revolution with their thumb up their arse. Right?

cap... (1)

Frederic54 (3788) | more than 3 years ago | (#34125240)

With the very small cap we have in Canada, for instance I just got upgraded from "30GB combined" to "40GB combined", forget viewing movies...

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