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Comcast, FiOS Drop in Netflix Rankings Despite Deals
by Karl Bode 12:48PM Monday Jun 09 2014
Netflix's streaming ISP rankings for May have arrived, with Cablevision, Cox and Charter leading the top three fastest ISPs in terms of average streaming speed. Google Fiber is still the top ranked ISP if you go to the bottom of the rankings and click on "include smaller ISPs." DSL, satellite and wireless subscribers continue to flounder in the rankings, though so does AT&T U-Verse, Verizon FiOS, and Mediacom.

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Curiously, despite signing an interconnection deal with Netflix back in April, those improvements clearly haven't been fully implemented yet. Verizon FiOS customers are actually seeing worse performance, FiOS falling two spots in the rankings, fiber to the home users seeing worse performance than users on older DSL lines courtesy of Verizon's feud with Netflix.

Also of note is despite signing an interconnection deal with Netflix in February, and seeing a significant jump in the rankings in April, Comcast has found themselves dropping two spots in this month's rankings.

Netflix again used the opportunity to fire another shot at large ISPs over what Netflix claims is "double dipping" -- or ISPs forcing content companies to pay direct interconnection fees if they want reasonable performance.

"Some broadband providers argue that our actions, and not theirs, are causing a degraded Netflix experience," Netflix stated in a blog post, referring to Verizon's claims and legal threats last week.

Netflix, Level 3 and Cogent have either implied or outright stated that large ISPs like Comcast and Verizon are intentionally letting peering points saturate to force content companies to pay what they expect will be ever-steeper interconnection fees. Verizon, Comcast and AT&T argue the fault for the recent congestion is entirely Netflix. If there's streaming problems, Verizon claims, it's Netflix's selection of transit partners.

"Netflix does not purposely select congested routes," says Netflix. "We pay some of the world’s largest transit networks to deliver Netflix video right to the front door of an ISP. Where the problem occurs is at that door -- the interconnection point -- when the broadband provider hasn't provided enough capacity to accommodate the traffic their customer requested."

Netflix again stated that what ISPs are doing is akin to unnecessary tolls and "double dipping," in that carriers are effectively forcing Netflix to pay a toll to access their customers. "We believe these ISP tolls are wrong because they raise costs, stifle innovation and harm consumers," says the company. "ISPs should provide sufficient capacity into their network to provide consumers the broadband experience for which they pay."

As for those ISP specific messages that caused Verizon to threaten a lawsuit, Netflix says they were part of a trial that's to be completed June 16. The company says they're still considering expanding the messages for broader use.

88 comments .. click to read

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Clarksburg, WV

5 recommendations

reply to patt2k

Re: Fios #10

Personally I believe netflix over the ISP any day of the week.


Norwalk, CA
·Verizon FiOS

1 edit

4 recommendations

reply to gadz2001

Re: speeds

I'm not Skippy25, but I will try to help you understand the issue. I myself am on a Verizon FIOS 50/25 connection. At the majority of times, when trying to watch something for the past year, I have been having issues just buffering Netflix, let alone actually keeping a stream going without it re-buffering, and then completely stalling.

Now I should have more than enough bandwidth to stream said films, all in HD, on multiple streams with bandwidth to spare. This is also on a wired Ethernet connection, so wireless is not the issue. This issue also happens on all my devices.

What I have found that points the finger at Verizon on the onus, is that as soon as I fire up my VPN, I can stream perfectly, using all the bandwidth I have available and never re-buffer or stall, which tells me that on Verizons side of the peering point, they are terribly congested on their incoming ports.

It just seems that some isps have this issue and others seem to not have this issue, like your roadrunner service. The majority of those who have this issue are those with connections at least double of what is necessary to stream HD streams from Netflix.

Edit: I forgot to mention that what Netflix shows on their graph is average bandwidth seen on their end sending to their customer. As I mentioned above, when your connection is continuously bandwidth starved from the peering point, it does not matter how high of a speed tier you subscribe to, it will show up as a slow connection to Netflix. That is what affects that graph that they pump out. It is based on the connection speed data and heart beat that is sent back to Netflixs servers.
--50/25 FIOS ~ 58.36D--36.52U--


Hazelwood, MO

4 recommendations

reply to elray

Re: The public will only buy this so long...

The blame is on the ISP's, that is very clear.

Netflix trying to get ISPs to use OpenConnect which is mutually beneficial to both parties is a bad thing? Please explain that mislead logic.



3 recommendations

reply to elray
look at the profit margins. netflix isn't exactly raking in the cash when compared to larger ISPs looking to get even MORE money. unlike most ISPs, netflix likes to use its profits to make more original content and a much better, evolving experience. verizon/comcast/etc like to spend money on lobbying to get their way to avoid evolving and releasing a better product.

As the movie-subscription company expanded internationally and paid handsomely for more video content, Wall Street had been braced for a loss of about 13 cents a share. But Netflix reported a profit of $8 million, or 13 cents a share. In the year-earlier quarter, profit totaled $35 million, or 64 cents a share.

Comcast (CMCSA) earnings surpassed analyst expectations on Tuesday, showing a 30 percent rise in net income for the first quarter. Comcast showed a profit of $1.87 billion, or 71 cents per share. Revenue grew to $17.4 billion, up 13.7% from the same period the year before.

Verizon posted a first-quarter profit of $3.95 billion, or $1.15 a share. In the year-earlier period, it reported a profit of $2 billion, or 68 cents a share. Excluding one-time items such as an after-tax gain from an asset sale, it posted per-share earnings of 84 cents.

Ashburn, VA

5 recommendations

reply to batman

Re: Is Netflix choosing bad interconnection points to make a PR point?

said by batman :

Is it possible that Netflix, who decides the route to an ISPs interconnection points, is picking congested interconnection points, instead of more open interconnection points. I believe Netflix is just as capable of skulduggery as is Verizon or Comcast in the interests of lowering their costs, even if it increases their partners costs.

The problem is that Comcast and Verizon should have no influence into which ISP Netflix uses. If the responsibility is not placed directly on Comcast, Verizon, and other consumers' ISPs to ensure that data to the last mile is accessible for their own customers, the system will always remain woefully anti-competitive and unfriendly toward any innovative delivery methods or cost-friendly solutions.

This is an issue that will require a significant fight to resolve. A fight that has an extremely unbalanced amount of resources available on each side. Its only because Netflix has significant weight that they are even heard. Even with the tier 1 providers, Google, and other major internet players screaming from the rooftops, the industry giants with historic deplorable customer service can still make an argument that they are the ones somehow being cheated. Just ridiculous.


Centereach, NY

3 recommendations

reply to tshirt

Re: Fios #10

said by tshirt:

does it too have an Achilles heel?

Yup, investment and maintenance $ dollars.

When FiOS was originally rolling out it was head and shoulders above what cable could offer. Since dramatically scaling back roll out and investment... cable has caught up even though fiber can easily outperform cable.


Evanston, IL

4 recommendations

reply to patt2k
then why did you comment as fast as possible as the top post in the thread?

I think you're trolling, not netflix.


Purcellville, VA
·T-Mobile US
·Verizon Online DSL

3 recommendations

reply to tshirt
Of course it does have an Achilles heel. The Achilles heel is the equipment on both ends and the network upstream. There are some small CLECs in Western Maryland that offer FTTH. You would think it would be fast, right?

Max speed on offer is 6mbit. If its your only choice, well, its better than most DSL or Cellular. But you would expect more from a PON architecture.
Its the backbone that matters when your last mile is great.

Just a bit more bashing of VZ I have to do now - in 1994 VZ (C&P Tel of MD) and the State Gov of MD signed an agreement to move to FTTP in the entire C&P Tel footprint by 2012. VZ has missed this deadline entirely, and they will never meet it. The government seems uninterested in enforcing it, not caring that citizens in the west cant get good broadband*.

*Unless they are lucky (well this is relative) enough to live in a Comcast area. The speeds Comcast offers are above and beyond any of the small CLECs, VZ DSL, or the cute little local Cable Cos.


New York, NY

6 recommendations

reply to patt2k
It's very true. I just streamed a movie from Netflix last night on my Fios connection; it was horribly pixelated, almost unwatchable.