When Netflix appeared on the UK scene 12 months ago it brought a very popular US based service to UK shores and now forms one of the applications that is driving demand for superfast broadband as households find out that faster broadband is needed for several people to watch films, catchup TV and play games at the same time.
Netflix offers its films at various quality levels with the service adapting to the ebb and flow of capacity on an individuals connection seamlessly, the amount of bandwidth needed is set to increase with the addition of new features which mean that 3D content will be available and new Super HD content. Super HD is designed to offer 1080p resolution but at a quality better than what is available on the service now, so we assume this means a bit-rate around the 8 Mbps to 10 Mbps region, rather than the maximum 5 Mbps that Netflix can use up to currently.
While doubling the bit-rate could be seen as likely to lead to an Internet meltdown, one way Netflix has avoided that so far is through peering and deployment of their CDN hardware Open Connect. In December Netflix published the average speeds for the major providers in the UK and IE, showing the average streamed speed for Netflix content.