Want a good over-the-top (OTT) experience? Turn to OTT giant Netflix to tell you which broadband ISP to sign up with if Internet streaming is your thing.
Starting this week, the video-on-demand leader is ranking the fastest ISPs in the United States. “Our 30 million members view over one billion hours of Netflix per month, so we have very reliable data for consumers to compare ISPs in terms of real world performance,” said Ken Florance, vice president of content delivery at Netflix, in a blog post.
Unsurprisingly, Google Fiber, which is deploying in Kansas City with a service which claims to deliver 1Gbps to the home, comes in first. But Netflix streams are experiencing average speeds of 2.55 Mbps, just ahead of Verizon’s fiber-based FiOS (News - Alert) service, which scored the number two slot with 2.19 Mbps.
Granted, those streams may be sharing the bandwidth resource with other things.
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“The average performance is well below the peak performance due to a variety of factors including home Wi-Fi, a variety of devices and a variety of encodes,” said Florance. “The relative ranking, however, should be an accurate indicator of relative bandwidth typically experienced across all users, homes and applications.”
That’s something to keep in mind when considering the rest of the field. Rounding out the top five were Comcast (News - Alert) (2.17 Mbps), Charter (2.17 Mbps) and Cablevision (2.15 Mbps), all of which have been beefing up their networks with DOCSIS 3.0. And where, you may ask, is AT&T U-verse, which is supposed to give Verizon (News - Alert) FiOS a run for its money? All the way down at 1.94 Mbps—a fact that Florance attributes to its fiber-to-the-node (FTTN) architecture.
"AT&T (News - Alert) U-verse, which is a hybrid fiber-DSL service, shows quite poorly compared to Verizon FiOS, which is pure fiber," Florance wrote.
Not surprisingly, he also noted that “broadly, cable showed better than DSL.” Traditional telco copper connections showed AT&T ahead of Verizon (1.42 Mbps vs. 1.37 Mbps), with a showing that’s not that much slower than U-verse
And then, there’s wireless. Verizon wins here again, with a 40 percent higher performance than AT&T. Of the top four U.S. providers, Verizon was the fastest at 0.76 Mbps, followed by T-Mobile (News - Alert) at 0.64 Mbps, Sprint at 0.56 Mbps and AT&T lagging at 0.48 Mbps.Tara Seals has over thirteen years of experience as a journalist. Her areas of expertise cover the waterfront of the service provider segment, especially mobile networks, devices and applications; and video infrastructure, content and broadcast models.
Edited by Brooke Neuman