decision has many wondering if the days of shipping and receiving those red
Netflix envelopes are nearly over.
Netflix is downplaying any rumors of its imminent DVD demise. Spokesman
Steve Swasey said the company is going to work, somehow, with the Postal
Service to “minimize impact on Netflix members who receive DVDs by mail.” But
the company will go streaming-only in the U.S. “at some point in the future,”
Swasey says. He just won’t say when. CEO Reed Hastings recently described the dvd business as being in
“a slow decline over the next, well, many years.”
The question is how this slow wind-down will affect the Internet.
During peak hours — after dinner time until around midnight — Netflix already
accounts for somewhere between 20 and 30 percent of all US Internet traffic. So
what will happen to the Internet if the 14 million Netflix subscribers who send
and receive DVDs via the mail suddenly start streaming everything they