Australia, Your Nextflix Habits Could Be Slowing Internet Speeds, Incentivising NBN

We already knew that Netflix Australia has been crushing all its competition into a sweaty pulp, since its release – with new figures pitting the number of Netflix users in Australia over the 1 million mark. As far as Streaming Video On Demand goes, it’s consuming the rest – and then some.

But with that influx of binging, what we hoped wouldn’t happen—a collective slugging of internet speeds to keep up with the new wave of traffic—probably is happening, according to Foad Fadaghi – Managing Director of Telsyte, who released new data on SVOD yesterday.

Fadaghi told The Daily Telegraph that a strain on our Internet Service Providers, as they compensate for increased traffic, was inevitable. “Inevitably, when you’ve got a lot of people connecting and watching things at the same time, you’re bound to see some strain on ISP networks.”

Unfortunately, that concept isn’t a new one. Back in May, Netflix conducted its own study into ISP speeds in Australia, ranking them like so: 

To give some context – Australia’s national average Netflix speed clocked in at 2.87Mbps, putting us in the bottom half of speeds around the world, being the 17th fastest out of 27 countries. Or, the world’s 11th slowest – depending on your half full/half empty mentality, here. 

The slow speeds associated with current ISPs will reportedly drive more Australians to taking up the NBN, according to Telsyte, as 56% of consumers reportedly believe their current fixed broadband simply doesn’t cut it when it comes to streaming.

Judging by Telsyte’s figures released yesterday, the clogging of Australian ISPs could get worse, as SVOD use is climbing quickly: the study estimates the combined subscriber bases of Netflix, Stan, Presto, Quickflix and other SVOD services is now reaching above 2 million.

In April, iiNet – who offers unmetered streaming of Netflix – was reportedly already experiencing network slowdowns during peak periods (4pm onwards) – even in the weeks, not months, following Netflix’s release. 

And yet, the seeming-ubiquity of paid SVOD may be overstated – Telsyte claims that in terms of streaming, free services such as ABC iView and 9Jumpin still reign supreme – with seven million Australians 16 years and over accessing those services at least once a month. 

But services like Netflix are still, at this stage, fledgling in Australia. And with their surge in success, Fadaghi estimates that distributors will increasingly turn to SVODs to launch their content: “The early success of SVOD providers will encourage more film studios and content rights holders, including sporting codes, to consider direct streaming to consumers.”

Meanwhile, a new ISP offering to iron out the kinks in Australia’s SVOD market is looking more appealing by the freakin’ minute. 

Via The Daily Telegraph.