Days of renting movies the traditional way, as in physically getting in your car and driving to a video store to rent a movie, sound ancient. It’s likely my son will never know what a video rental store is and that’s okay with me because it’s been replaced with on-demand streaming from providers such as Netflix. Even though video rental giant Block Buster maintains retail stores– they still exist, I know because I’m pretty sure I saw one recently, and I googled it just in case—they have also offered video streaming subscription for some time. The convenience that on demand video streaming provides and the easy accessibility due to low cost and equipment we already have has revolutionized our at home (or on the go) entertainment. It’s easier than ever to watch the latest releases without ever leaving your couch.
Virtually anyone with a computer, laptop, gaming console, mobile device, DVR, or smart TV among some 800 acceptable devices can enjoy his or her favorite television shows, movies, and games- instantly. So just how many people are jumping on the streaming bandwagon? Netflix, alone has more than 30 million streaming members in the United Stages, Canada, Latin America, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and the Nordics. Would you be surprised to know that 33% of peak Internet traffic in the United States is from Netflix alone? And so it is. In a recent study, Sandvine claimed in their latest report on Internet traffic trends, “Global Internet Phenomena Report: 2H 2012”, that not only is Internet usage on the rise, as a whole, “Internet usage is up 120% in North America alone”. In fact, that’s a significant increase in data usage from “23 GB to 51 GB” in a very short amount of time. Sandvine CEO, Dave Caputo, affirms “there is only one digital network being built today and that is the Internet”. He further explains the importance of communications service providers in an ever-growing market who will need to launch new services to appease the appetite of their hungry broadband customers, “service providers will be launching application-based price plans that provide cost certainty and a consistent quality of experience for high-demand applications. Understanding the application make-up of a network is a critical first step in launching new services.”
We like our movies and we like our Netflix. We have become a Netflix Nation with a growing population of users. Netflix leads the way, accounting for about “33% of peak period downstream traffic on North American fixed networks”. Runners up include Amazon with about “1.8% of peak period downstream traffic,” and Hulu trailing behind with “1.4% followed by HBO Go’s 0.5%”. Caputo says that “audio and video streaming account for 65% of all downstream traffic from 9 PM to 12 AM” with about half of that being from Netflix traffic. As real-time applications such as live video and audio become more popular, so will the need for maintaining a high quality of experience. Sandvine suggests that it’s real time entertainment that will see one of the larger areas of growth in data consumption. According to the Sandvine report, major events such as the 2014 World Cup with an international audience is expected to be the most streamed event in Internet history.
With all that being said, there’s no wonder you’ve most likely experienced “slow Internet”. There’s truth in facts, and most likely it’s being bogged down by one of your favorite Netflix-loving bandwidth hogs. You know the one that can typically be found streaming entire seasons of Game of Thrones on the regular. The Sandvine report confirms that even with high-speed LTE networks expanding, wireless networks will still face congestion problems as the use of mobile devices also increases greatly. The report further claims “In order to be effective, traffic and congestion management practices for newly- launched LTE networks must be implemented at day zero to maximize subscriber quality of experience (QoE) and ensure a great, high-speed experience for all subscribers”.
As the Netflix Nation grows and our thirst for instant entertainment including live streaming continues to flourish, the Mesh Networks is here to help facilitate your experience. It’s a good thing Home Net and Biz Net intelligent routers have a solution that can keep everyone in your family happy- whether it’s streaming movies on demand, playing FarmVille, balancing a budget, or talking to Grandma. We are very excited about beginning beta this week and can’t wait to let you know more about the launch of our intelligent routers! It’s time to give your family a break and share the broadband love. After all, no one wants to move back into the dark ages of video rentals covered in late charges. Hopefully you can remember once upon a time not too long ago and how disappointing it was to find that the movie you were dying to see was out of stock and unavailable for rental. Bless your heart if you even searched the Drop-Off bins.
Were you surprised that Netflix makes up 33% of peak Internet traffic in the United States? How many of you are part of the Netflix Nation or other streaming service and what would you say is your biggest problem thus far regarding quality of service?