Netflix Is Eating Up More Of North America's Bandwidth Than Any Other Company

Robert Bonomi bonomi at
Thu May 19 18:22:34 UTC 2011

> From at  Wed May 18 16:12:17 2011
> Date: Wed, 18 May 2011 14:53:10 -0600
> From: Brielle Bruns <bruns at>
> To: nanog at
> Subject: Re: Netflix Is Eating Up More Of North America's Bandwidth Than Any
> 	Other Company
> On 5/18/11 2:33 PM, Dorn Hetzel wrote:
> > If we're really talking efficiency, the "popular" stuff should probably 
> > stream out over the bird of your choice (directv, etc) because it's 
> > hard to beat millions of dishes and dvr's and no cable plant.
> >
> > Then what won't fit on the bird goes unicast IP from the nearest CDN.   
> > Kind of like the "on demand over broadband" on my satellite box.  Their 
> > selection sucks, but the model is valid.
> If someone hadn't mentioned already, there used to be a usenet provider 
> that delivered a full feed via Satellite. 

There were, at different times, two companies that did that.  Both went
under because expenses exceeded income.

The one that was _much_ more interesting was the one that Lauren Weinstein
had a hand in.  It piggy-backed a Usenet feed in the vertical blanking
interval of several big "independant" TV stations -- ones that were 
carried by practically every cable company in the country.  Distribution
to the cable companies was via satellite, but the USENET feed, being 
_part_ of the video signal, consumed _zero_ additional bandwidth, and
rode the satellite links for free. 

To get the feed, all you needed was a TV tuner with 'video out', and the
purpose-huilt decoder box that extracted the vertical interval data.

This service died as the independants moved to encrypted transmission,
because the encryption did _not_ perserve anything in the 'blanking'
timeslot. only the 'viewable' field-image was trasmitted, _as_ a full-field
image.  Sync, blanking, etc. was _locally_ generated on the receiving end.

An "elegant" idea, done in by changing technology.   *sigh*

More information about the NANOG mailing list