Mastodon. Although recently weakened by disappointing results, Netflix consumed nearly 20% of French internet traffic in 2021, the telecoms regulatory authority (Arcep) revealed on Thursday, and the American streaming giant is widening the gap with the other content providers, called upon in Europe to participate in the financing of the network. In 2021, “51% of traffic to customers of the main internet service providers (ISPs) in France comes from 5 providers: Netflix, Google, Akamai, Facebook and Amazon”, according to the State of the Internet report in France.
This very high consumption of network resources by the main players in video streaming (content distributor Akamai is notably used by Disney +) has been known for years, but Netflix continues to widen the gap. Google and its Youtube platform use just over 10%, Facebook and Amazon (Prime) just over 5%, according to Arcep data.
Consequence of the bulimia of films on catalog and series by subscription, TV in catch-up and videos on social networks or advertisements, the world Internet traffic was composed this same year for 53.7% of video traffic, recalls Arcep, citing data from Sandvine.
Make the “Gafa” pay
The need to have latency (transmission time) as low as possible has led several of these players, especially Americans, to equip themselves with their own distribution infrastructure, to sort, to bring their content closer to users, and to optimize compression formats. However, with the increase in the use of streaming television and the increase in screen resolution, traffic continues to increase, and reached 35.6 terabits per second in 2021, up 25, 3% over one year, indicates Arcep.
The situation has recently led members of the European Commission to resuscitate the idea of charging the “Gafa” for their use of telecom networks. “This is now one of the main projects in our digital space”, declared in May on Twitter the European Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, who is preparing a dedicated legislative project at the end of the year.
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The subject, however, creaks the content providers concerned, who explain that the operators are already paid by their customers, and certain European associations for the defense of digital rights who are worried about an impact on net neutrality. This principle, enshrined in European Union law in 2016, guarantees equal treatment and routing of all information flows on the Internet.