The massive success of Squid Game has caused a huge surge in traffic all over the world, but one company in South Korea is not happy about it. South Korean internet service provider SK Broadband has sued Netflix, and according to Reuters, the company is alleging that the streaming platform's popular series Squid Game caused a surge in network traffic, a move that comes after lawmakers and courts in the nation have ordered content providers to pay network usage.
SK Broadband estimates that Netflix owes 27.2 billion won ($22.9 million) in 2020 alone. The lawsuit states that as of September, the ISP handles roughly 1,2000 Gigabits of Netflix data processed per second, Reuters reported. That's 24 times higher from May 2018, and popular Netflix South Korean shows like D.P. and Squid Game are purportedly a major reason why.
SK Broadband is demanding Netflix pay for the costs of increased maintenance and traffic caused by a huge amount of bandwidth. In response, Netflix has said it will review SK Broadband's lawsuit, and it intends to work with the internet provider to ensure customers are not affected.
An SK spokesperson told Reuters that while Amazon, Apple, and Facebook are paying usage fees to SK Broadband, Netflix and YouTube do not.
Earlier this year, Seoul Central District court ruled against Netflix stating that the company should "reasonably" pay an amount to the internet service provider for network usage, and several lawmakers in South Korea have argued against online platforms that do not pay a network usage fee despite using huge amount of bandwidth. In a former lawsuit earlier this year, Netflix appealed against the court ruling, explaining that its responsilibity is to provide content — not to provide internet to viewers, Reuters reported.
In Sept. 28, Netflix published a blog detailing its contributions to the South Korean economy, claiming it's created $4.8 billion in growth and 16,000 jobs. Netflix's blog notes that it's been a "platform for the spread of new Hallyu culture through shows like Kingdom, Vincenzo, and even the recently premiered Squid Game", also noting that Squid Game is the first Korean series to claim the No. 1 spot on Netflix US.