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Netflix has been making headlines recently over its meteoric rise in popularity, and along with it, the impact it is having on our poor, beleaguered, bandwidth starved Internet service providers. Reports suggesting the company could be consuming up to one third of all peek time Internet traffic is common, but ITWorld.com is claiming that’s B.S. And you know we can’t resist an article that promises to cut through the B.S.!
According to analyst Kevin Fogarty, Netflix employs a content-distribution system to ensure that files are located physically close to the users homes, and is only consuming bandwidth on the ISP’s edge connection. This means Netflix isn’t overloading the backbones, or even high-volume network spokes because it allows the content to be distributed and cached ahead of time. When you hit play on your TV, you’re only waiting for your ISP to serve it up locally across the last mile.
It’s pretty much a forgone conclusion that our Internet service providers are somewhat overstating the cost of bearing the Netflix burden, and it only serves to shoot more holes in their explanation as to why they feel the need to throttle or cap our connections at all. The network only needs to survive an hour or two of peak usage per day, so why would it matter how much you use at 2AM?
Either way, with bandwidth caps dropping, and Netflix use rising, we are rapidly heading towards disaster. It looks like Netflix has done everything it can to lower the cost of delivering streaming video, but ultimately they are now reliant on the ISP’s which usually offer competing services.
ITWorld thinks the ISP’s need to suck it up and stop complaining. Do you buy into their explanation?