Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Streaming Video Hogs Bandwidth

Whenever my internet stops refreshing pages, I have to yell to my kids to see if they are watching a video.  It seems, especially when they are watching on their iPads, that my computer can't access a web page or even simply refresh a page.  And once they put their video on pause, a simple click gets the computer working again.  And I know that my household isn't the only one that suffers from this phenomenon. 

It seems that streaming video has become broadband hogs.  And You Tube and Netflix may just be the worst culprits.  In fact, "During peak watching times, Netflix accounts for around a third of all downstream Internet traffic in the U.S., according to Sandvine, a company that monitors networks."  The more households watching, the worse the ISP performance.  Given the growth of streaming video, this problem will not be going away anytime soon. 

An added problem is that ISPs no longer have to abide by net neutrality rules.  ISPs can slow down these streaming services thus causing more buffering issues with the user.  And while they claim they still treat all web traffic equally, consumers are noticing that Netflix and other streaming services are slowing down.  What is needed is more technological innovation in streamlining the size of files while increasing total bandwidth.  For this household, that couldn't happen fast enough.

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