How Australia’s Netflix addiction is challenging the NBN

Angus Kidman 24 August 2015


Aussies love streaming video, and it shows in our download figures. Can the NBN cope?

Most Australians still aren't on the National Broadband Network (nbn), but those who are appear to be spending their time catching up on Orange is the New Black.

Speaking at the launch of nbn's annual results, CEO Bill Morrow noted that the launch of Netflix and its subscription streaming video on demand (SVOD) rivals in Australia this year had made a big difference to download volumes. Since the launch of Netflix, those figures have gone up 30% he said.

The massive demand for Netflix has caught some ISPs by surprise, especially those like Optus and iiNet which offer unmetered access to the service. Are nbn's resellers concerned that means they'll end up paying too much for data?

Chief customer office John Simon says nbn is aware of the issue and it's under control. "The NBN has always been planned to handle a growing demand for data, and it was always foreseen that video would be a key part of that demand," he said at the media launch. "We do provide for traffic class prioritisation. We're always in active discussions with our customers and we're working through that."

Here's the volume of data which different types of broadband customers use, according to nbn:


(The grey figure for nbn shows upload data, which isn't known for the other platforms.)

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One Response to How Australia’s Netflix addiction is challenging the NBN

  1. Default Gravatar
    Lloyd | August 24, 2015

    So the NBN is in touch with the 10% of Australian’s that have access to the NBN. That’s great. But what are they doing about the 90% of us that want super-fast broadband but can’t even access the crippled NBN yet, let alone what was originally planned?

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