Has Video Streaming Spiked Our Internet Traffic By 40 Per Cent?

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released their latest internet data figures and downloads way up compared to last year, or even 6 months ago. Should we blame Netflix? Their official arrival down-under in March likely made a big contribution, but of course they are not the only player in the streaming game.

For the three months ending on the 30th of June, we downloaded a collective 1.4 million Terabytes (or 1.4 Exabytes). Sure, that isn’t all from streaming TV but compared to the December figures, it’s up over 20%.

Perhaps more telling of streaming's impact on our internet is that compared to this time last year, fixed line broadband users have used 40% more data.

Fixed line customers account for 97% of the use, though wireless broadband is steadily growing. It’s up to 38,673 TB downloaded in the three months leading up to 30th of June, compared to 32,731 TBs the same time last year.

Reported on itnews, iiNet Chief technical officer Mark Dioguardi said Netflix accounted for 30% of their traffic by itself.

The more amazing statistic is that in the same three months leading up to the 30th of June, 'other' users, which is essentially dial-up, pulled down an amazing 49 TB. On the plus side, that is down from 65 TB as the same time last year.

Keeping those figures in mind, maybe I should feel ok labouring with 3Mbps ADSL, while the NBN Fiber sits unused on the side of my house because it’s not turned on at the other end yet...

So, what are you planning to watch tonight?


WATCH MORE: Entertainment News


    I've noticed my download speed has pretty much halved.

    So, what are you planning to watch tonight? Watching X-Files on Netflix USA.

    iZomie on Stan. Then maybe some Continuum on Netflix.

    We've been on the Netflix bandwagon for a couple of years now, and noticed that not long after it released officially in Australia our streaming quality markedly dropped. Before it would ramp up quickly to 1080 and stay there without a hiccup, these days it slowly rises to a max 720 with frequent (and jarring) drops back down to 480.

    We're on Telstra cable at a connection speed >100mbps, and various speed tests and traces to different servers worldwide don't show up any congestion that could account for the decreased quality. My partner's theory is that Telstra is rate-limiting Netflix traffic, whether for competitive reasons or just to manage congestion on their backbone is anyone's guess. I certainly wouldn't put it past them.

      There is of course an easy way to test your partner's theory:

      Fire up Presto and see if the same thing happens there. If it doesn't your partner is right.

      You could also test with youtube and lesser known video sites, but you'd need to make sure it supports 1080p. I was going to suggest Hulu but I believe the HD there is only 720p.

        Interestingly our investigations last night seem to prove his theory, though it's potentially a little early to tell (it might have been a one-off success). We set up a VPN connection on our router so all our Internet traffic was tunnelled. Loaded up Netflix, kicked off a movie and bam, straight up to 1080 and stayed there without a hitch.

    And yet ISPs are still keeping relatively low data plans. When will they wake up like the rest of the world and abolish outdated data caps and just limit speeds instead of data caps. I have NBN and have gone through my 100gb cap in less than 2 weeks of streaming Netflix. It's a joke.

      Change service providers. Unlimited plans have been available on the NBN for a long time.

      If your ready to reply claiming that "changing will slow down my speed", well that's why your current ISP gives you a 100GB cap, dummy.

      Last edited 08/10/15 8:54 am

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now