) has 30 million streaming subscribers worldwide that view more
than one billion hours of content every month. With that in mind,
the video rental company thought it would be a good idea to look
at the quality of the ISPs (Internet Service Providers) consumers
are using in America. Starting this week, Netflix will publish
monthly rankings of major ISPs "based upon their actual
performance across all Netflix streams."
During November, Google (NASDAQ:
) Fiber proved to be the fastest ISP available. While the service
is not yet available nationwide, Google promised to deliver fast
and consistent Internet (up to
for uploads and downloads) without any data caps. Competing
services -- particularly those from Comcast (NASDAQ:
) and AT&T (NYSE:
) -- provide data caps of 300GB or less, greatly limiting the
amount of high-resolution content that consumers can view
It is that very limitation that angered Netflix CEO Reed
Hastings. "…It will be strange that streaming Game of Thrones
from the HBO GO app on my Xbox will count against my Comcast
internet cap, but when I watch those same Game of Thrones streams
through the Comcast app on Xbox, over the same wifi connection to
my Xbox, then it will not count against my cap," Hastings
wrote on Facebook
Despite Hastings' complaints, Netflix still ranked Comcast as
one of the fastest ISPs available. It came in third place with an
average speed of 2.17 Mbps for Netflix streams. Verizon's (NYSE:
) highly acclaimed FiOS service came in second place with an
average of 2.19 Mbps.
Ken Florance, Vice President of Content Delivery at Netflix,
referred to Google Fiber -- which achieved an average speed of
2.55 Mbps for Netflix streams -- as the "most consistently fast
ISP in America." Florance based his findings on the actual user
experience from Netflix streams in November.
"Broadly, cable shows better than DSL," Florance wrote on the
official Netflix blog
. "AT&T U-verse, which is a hybrid fiber-DSL service, shows
quite poorly compared to Verizon Fios, which is pure fiber.
Charter moved down two positions since October. Verizon mobile
has 40% higher performance than AT&T mobile."
Florance said that the average performance is "well below" the
peak performance due to a number of factors, including Wi-Fi and
the variety of devices that consumers use, as well as the
plethora of encodes that are employed."
"The relative ranking, however, should be an accurate
indicator of relative bandwidth typically experienced across all
users, homes, and applications," Florance concluded.
(c) 2012 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.