Netflix’s subscriber base for instant streaming seems to be growing by leaps and bounds, however, the rise of increasingly stingy bandwidth caps threaten to send it all crashing down. Netflix has introduced new methods of adjusting the video quality as a method of working around the problem, but the otherwise powerless company has finally decided to take it’s fight with ISP’s to the mass media. In an incredibly eloquent opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal , Netflix’s general counsel David Hyman tells us what he thinks of bandwidth caps, and why we shouldn’t put up with it.
According to Hyman, "Bandwidth caps with fees piled on top are a lousy way to manage traffic." He goes on to accuse ISP’s of creating the false impression among consumers that “bandwidth is a scarce resource and that imposing caps and overage fees will relieve pressure on high-speed networks." Many high profile ISP’s have very publically come out against bandwidth caps as a method of controlling infrastructure costs, and almost all network experts seem to agree that the cost of delivering 1GB of data is around one cent, and falling at a rapid pace. "Wireline bandwidth is an almost unlimited resource due to advances in Internet architecture. Adding more capacity is easy.”
Hyman argues that at most, ISP’s should focus on finding ways to control usage during peak hours, since delivering bits outside of this short period costs next to nothing.