Netflix is dealing with a weird problem with Squid Game: far too many people are watching the hit Korean drama. So many, in fact, that a South Korean internet provider is suing Netflix for utilising excessive bandwidth as a result of traffic surges caused by the mega-streamer. SK Broadband is requesting that the platform pays for all maintenance expenditures incurred as a result of the site’s soaring streaming numbers.
According to Reuters, this news comes after a Seoul court ruled that Netflix should “reasonably” pay the internet service provider for the abundant network usage. A number of South Korean MPs have spoken out against content providers (such as Netflix) who refuse to pay for network usage despite generating a large amount of traffic.
Netflix has announced that it will investigate SK Broadband’s claim. In the meanwhile, they intend to maintain open communication with the provider to investigate measures to ensure that clients do not experience network delays.
The success of Squid Game has emphasised Netflix’s position as the country’s second-largest traffic generator, trailing only YouTube. Other sites such as Amazon, Apple, and Facebook aid, but only the two pay no network usage fees.
Netflix’s internet traffic with SK Broadband increased 24 times from May 2018 to September 2021. Netflix now processes around 1.2 trillion bits of data each second, thanks to the success of Korean films such as Squid Game and D.P. SK projected that the streamer owed roughly 27.2 billion won ($22.9 million) in 2020 alone.
In response to the lawsuit, Netflix stated in a statement that they have contributed to the development of approximately 16,000 jobs in South Korea as a result of investments totalling approximately 770 billion won. According to the streaming giant, they have had a cumulative economic impact of almost 5.6 trillion won.
Squid Game debuted on Netflix two weeks ago, on September 17, and has quickly become one of the streamer’s best-performing titles of all time. The mind-bending puzzle series pits a group of down-on-their-luck adults against one another in a slew of children’s games, where they must compete to the death for a large cash prize. Squid Game is on track to beat Bridgerton as Netflix’s most watched show of all time.