South Korean Internet Provider Sues Netflix Over Traffic Surge

by Carter Toni

SK Broadband is an internet provider in South Korea. The company has recently filed a lawsuit against Netflix because there has been an increase in traffic online as well as repeated maintenance work that has had to be performed after the success across the world of “Squid Game” and “D.P.” These movies have been quite popular on Netflix and have resulted in the amount of traffic through SK Broadband to increase more than the network can handle. In some of the latest reports, traffic has increased about 24 times since 2018 to over 1 trillion bits that are processed each second.

More Traffic

Netflix started using SK Broadband in 2018 as it was a network designed to handle larger amounts of data at one time compared to other broadband internet services. It’s also able to handle high-definition video content and deliver it to people who live in Korea from the servers that are located in Hong Kong and Japan. Netflix has been in contact with SK and has made notes about reviewing the details of the issues that the broadband company has brought forth so that they can be handled as soon as possible. Netflix wants to keep the lines of communication open with SK so that customers won’t have delays with their streaming services.

Improvements in South Korea

Since Netflix made the decision to create content in South Korea, there has been an increase of about 16,000 jobs for the people who live there. There has been almost $650 million invested to try to make improvements and launch Netflix so that more people can access the streaming service.

Netflix and Its Own Issues

In 2020, Netflix made the decision to launch its own lawsuit against SK Broadband. It’s unclear as to whether or not the new lawsuit by SK is in retaliation because of the lawsuit by Netflix or if the company has truly had issued with the increase in traffic as a result of “Squid Game” and other movies and shows. A court made the decision that Netflix should pay SK for its usage in South Korea. There was a focus in court by attorneys on content providers and their responsibility to networks as well as how they haven’t always paid compensation for the services that are provided.

Netflix and SK didn’t know that “Squid Game” and other shows would be as popular as they were when they were first released. Netflix isn’t the only company that hasn’t paid compensation for services that are provided as Google YouTube has also failed to pay usage fees to SK Broadband. Other providers, such as Amazon and Apple, have paid fees so that they can provide their services through the internet provider.

After the success of “Squid Game,” many businesses in South Korea saw an increase in sales as people wanted to try some of the activities on their own. One business is a candy store that has seen an increase in ingredients as well as prepared items due to the popularity of the film. The amount of the usage fees that South Korea believes Netflix owes is over $22 million. If SK wins its lawsuit against Netflix, then it could result in much more money that the service has to pay all because of a movie that was released that has spread like wildfire across the world.

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