Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Netflix Releases ISP Streaming Rankings For June

Google Fiber, Cablevision Continue to Top Rankings

by Karl Bode Broadband Reports

Earlier this year Netflix began ranking the quality of video streaming performance for each of the nation's largest ISPs. HD streams have variable bitrate but can potentially top out at around 4800 kilobits per second, and the data, gleaned from 36 million Netflix members who view over 1 billion hours of TV shows, provides a bird's eye view by ISP of sustained throughput available from a given ISP over time.

Netflix just released their latest ISP rankings for June and by and large they're unchanged, with Google Fiber in the top spot, Cablevision's Optimum Online in the second spot, and various DSL operators continuing to flouder around the bottom half of the rankings. AT&T's U-Verse in particular continues a fairly poor showing, dropping a spot to tenth in the rankings.

ISPs which in the past had historically improved in Netflix performance because of faster speeds, have the last few months found themselves falling because they're not signing up for Netflix's CDN network. As noted earlier this year, Netflix stated they'd start offering users "Super HD" and 3D streams -- if their ISP signed up for Netflix's new Open Connect Content Delivery Network.

As expected many bigger ISPs, most of whom have had neutrality fights with Netflix previously, have not agreed to Netflix's demand for special CDN treatment (AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, Time Warner Cable, Charter, Brighthouse, etc) and are dropping more and more in the Netflix ratings each month.

ISPs who agreed to sign up (Cablevision, Suddenlink, and obviously Cox) have seen miraculously huge gains. ISPs like Comcast and FiOS have even seen their overall average delivery speeds rise, yet because they've balked at Netflix's proposal have fallen to eighth and sixth place, respectively. Verizon's FiOS had a particularly hard month due to a peering fight with Cogent that resulted in lower performance, though that didn't appear to factor into last month's ratings.

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