First, doomsayers said that P2P traffic would kill the Internet. Then it was Youtube. With today's announcement from Sandvine, service providers have a new scape-goat – Netflix. According to a recent report, the company now accounts for nearly 30% of all downstream traffic on the Internet.
"Netflix?" you may say, "Don't they do mail-order DVDs?" They sure do, but the company's moved into Hulu's territory the past few years by offering several digital streaming options. Aggressive maneuvering has made Netflix almost omnipresent – sometimes it seems like no matter how you access the Internet, your video queue is there, patiently waiting for your attention.
All those access points make Netflix a bandwidth hog the likes of which ISPs haven't seen in a long time. BitTorrent and Youtube, the previous industry boogie men, account for 11% and 10% of all Internet traffic, respectively, meaning Netflix takes more tube-space than both of them combined. Don't expect the number to drop off anytime soon, either. Netflix's CEO has identified streaming video as the central pillar for the company, and new Netflix-compatible devices continue to come out month after month.