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Comcast Sees Gains In Netflix Streaming Rankings
by Karl Bode 02:31PM Monday Mar 10 2014
Netflix has released the company's latest month rankings of ISP Netflix streaming performance. Not too surprisingly, the results show that Comcast Netflix streaming performance has improved two spots after Comcast and Netflix last month struck a new interconnection agreement that eliminated middlemen like Cogent Communications from their transit routes. As we noted at the time, it could take some time before the benefits of that deal impact all Comcast users, so I imagine you'll see Comcast slowly rise in these rankings further in coming months.

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Elsewhere, the dismal performance from several notable major ISPs continues. AT&T's U-Verse actually dropped another two spots in the Netflix rankings, and Verizon FiOS and Frontier Communications also each dropped a spot.

Both AT&T and Verizon have hinted at the fact they're working on similar direct interconnection deals, but those deals are taking long as neither is currently trying to get a massive merger approved.

Interestingly, Netflix did something slightly different for this incarnation of the rankings, offering users an expanded list of ranked ISPs that shows where many smaller ISPs might appear.

"Since we started publishing the ISP Speed Index in December 2012 we have tracked the largest broadband providers in the US plus Google Fiber, the guiding North Star for broadband performance in the country," Netflix says in a blog post. "With the expansion, Google Fiber continues to be at the top of the expanded list of ISPs, but Cablevision – Optimum leads the major ISPs."

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baineschile
2600 ways to live
Premium
join:2008-05-10
Sterling Heights, MI

3 recommendations

Bull

Am I the only one that realizes that these rankings is just who is playing ball with Netflix?

battleop

join:2005-09-28
00000

Re: Bull

Nope.

buzz_4_20

join:2003-09-20
Limestone, ME
Well... Yes, but the context is quite fuzzy.
The quality of the stream is actually improving - bottom line?
Buy Why?
Is it because of a better connection due to a better arrangement?
Or is it better because fake roadblocks were removed?

tshirt
Premium
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Comcast

1 recommendation

Re: Bull

said by buzz_4_20:

Is it because of a better connection due to a better arrangement?
Or is it better because fake roadblocks were removed?

without a doubt.
Note that Verizon FiOS is still trending down, unlikely that it is due to lack of fiber speed or Verizon choosing to look bad, so port cost and delivery to those ports are the only 2 likely problems.
both are under Netflix control.
Verizon has plenty of inbound capacity so it's likely Netflix's choice of transport that's slowing things down. (once again)

openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
kudos:2

1 recommendation

Or who Netflix is playing ball with
Millenium

join:2013-10-30
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

1 recommendation

Except, what I've read Time Warner didn't play ball with Netflix's local cache service. Yet, Time Warner still ranks high.

Are Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon, intentionally letting ports saturate to squeeze money out of Netflix? You decide.

Isn't it Comcast's, AT&T's, and Verizon's subscribers that are getting played with? You decide.
Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO

Re: Bull

You are correct.

Comcast, AT&T and Verizon are (or in Comcast case, were) letting their ports saturate to pressure Netflix to give them more money.

Comcast is trying to get a very questionable merger completed, thus they quickly came to terms to avoid any bad press concerning this.

Ultimately, it is always the subscribers that are being played by the greed of the stockholders.
serge87

join:2009-11-29
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

1 recommendation

Re: Bull

said by Skippy25:

Comcast, AT&T and Verizon are (or in Comcast case, were) letting their ports saturate to pressure Netflix to give them more money.

I see this incorrect assumption made over and over again on this forum. Read up on how internet peering works(and how it has always worked). Internet peering is a mutually beneficial agreement, where both parties agree to roughly similar traffic exchange. If the traffic is not equal, the party sending more traffic compensates the other for the increased traffic load on its network. This is pure business strategy at work, if you don't like it write to your congressman to pass a law against it.
elefante72

join:2010-12-03
East Amherst, NY

Re: Bull

There are many different TRANSIT arrangements. People always think it's no charge peering or balanced, that is simply not the case. Netflix has many third many transit providers and AWS signed up as well as CDN in cloud (openconnect I think they call it).

Lots of the logic in server selection on Netflix side causes issues also, and that boils down to DNS and how "sticky" you are to the Netflix servers. They are no without blame.

I think if Comcast was not trying to capture transit fees, they would just host the CDN in net, and then they can traffic manage correctly.

I do understand from the operator's perspective however, if Netflix is providing a CDN in net for a better customer experience, they should pay for the colo and bandwidth like all of my customers do, IMHO. No free rides. It's not like Netflix taking 1/3 of their network is a benefit per se to them, even if they don't charge for the servers...

So I am sort of with the operators on this one, if Netflix is taking 1/3 of my network traffic, then they need to pay for jump point or to place the equipment in the operator cloud.
serge87

join:2009-11-29
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

Re: Bull

said by elefante72:

There are many different TRANSIT arrangements. People always think it's no charge peering or balanced, that is simply not the case.

Yes, between Netflix and Cogent/Level3/etc there are transit agreements. However, ISPs usually do not buy transit since they're so big and peer directly with Cogent/Level3/etc. A peering agreement between an ISP and a peering partner(in which that peer is also a transit provider for Netflix), doesn't carry the same circumstances and conditions between that relationship and the one between transit provider and buyer of transit(Netflix).
Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO
You are right, but an ISP is not a peer to anyone. They would NEVER send as much traffic as they receive which is why their connections are almost ALWAYS lopsided in favor of download.

jlivingood
Premium,VIP
join:2007-10-28
Philadelphia, PA
kudos:3

1 recommendation

said by Skippy25:

Comcast, AT&T and Verizon are (or in Comcast case, were) letting their ports saturate to pressure Netflix to give them more money.

That is incorrect.
--
JL
Comcast
Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO

Re: Bull

And we would expect an engineer of Comcast to say no less.

Well played!

Kilroy
Premium,MVM
join:2002-11-21
Saint Paul, MN
said by Millenium:

Are Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon, intentionally letting ports saturate to squeeze money out of Netflix? You decide.

I was amazed at how much my Netflix streaming improved when I started using a VPN. The problem obviously isn't the pipes, it is Comcast throttling Netflix.
--
"Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something." - Robert A. Heinlein

dodgetech2

join:2002-01-01
Gouldsboro, PA

Re: Bull

said by Kilroy:

[
I was amazed at how much my Netflix streaming improved when I started using a VPN. The problem obviously isn't the pipes, it is Comcast throttling Netflix.

The more likely scenario is your VPN is using a different route

ITALIAN926

join:2003-08-16
kudos:2

1 recommendation

Wow, it only took them 15 months to realize that Google Fiber isnt a major ISP. Netflix idiots.

battleop

join:2005-09-28
00000

2 recommendations

The horse is dead...

Yet this story continues to run each month like clock work.

Morac
Cat god

join:2001-08-30
Riverside, NJ
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast

Is it really because of the interconnection agreement?

When streaming Netflix over the weekend I was mostly getting a 1080p stream and I'm currently being routed through Level3 in my area.

It really depended on which server I was routed to. If I was routed to a server in NYC then I was getting an abysmal 368 SD stream. If I was routed to a server in Washington DC, I got the full 1080p stream. Fortunately the former only happened a few times and simply restarting the stream got me back on the later. That would seem to be an overload issue.
--
Get the DSLR Firefox Extension.
The Comcast Disney Avatar has been retired.
GoodOmens

join:2005-07-06
Arlington, VA

Meh

Speeds are only slightly better then what they were last month, about equal to what they were in December and less then they were in November.

I'd say nothing has changed - only that other providers are getting crappier.

morbo
Complete Your Transaction

join:2002-01-22
00000
Reviews:
·Charter

Speed rankings show collusion and 'good' behavior since the merger announce

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Click for full size
Netflix data tells a great story of collusion among the big providers, and for Comcast in particular, slightly better behavior right before they ask for a huge merger approval.
openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
kudos:2

Re: Speed rankings show collusion and 'good' behavior since the merger announce

How can you possibly claim collusion when Comcast and Netflix recently, and openly, agreed to a new interconnect deal?

morbo
Complete Your Transaction

join:2002-01-22
00000
Reviews:
·Charter

1 recommendation

Re: Speed rankings show collusion and 'good' behavior since the merger announce

Collusion explains why the 'big' providers Netflix data points begin tanking in unison September/October 2013 despite rather consistent performance the 12 months earlier.

The Comcast agreement with Netflix is like a child the week before Christmas. On his best behavior in the hopes he gets his favorite item on his Christmas list... does anyone really believe otherwise?
openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
kudos:2

1 recommendation

Re: Speed rankings show collusion and 'good' behavior since the merger announce

said by morbo:

Collusion explains why the 'big' providers Netflix data points begin tanking in unison September/October 2013 despite rather consistent performance the 12 months earlier.

Or saturation, which is much easier to believe and argue than collusion from multiple providers, all at the same time.
said by morbo:

The Comcast agreement with Netflix is like a child the week before Christmas. On his best behavior in the hopes he gets his favorite item on his Christmas list... does anyone really believe otherwise?

Yes, I'd suggest the case is very strong for the saturation issue. Bypass the likes of Cogent and light up the connection between Netflix and Comcast and things magically start working. Shocker.

morbo
Complete Your Transaction

join:2002-01-22
00000
Reviews:
·Charter

Re: Speed rankings show collusion and 'good' behavior since the merger announce

Whether you agree or not, collusion is common in wireless/telecom and similar duopoly situations. It's more profitable to all play the same game and make more money than it is for one to go against the grain and draw blood from everyone, including yourself.

Comcast choose to let the connections degrade to the point it was intolerable. Regulators should be be keenly aware it was their choice to do this, at the ultimate expense of its paying customers.
openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
kudos:2

Re: Speed rankings show collusion and 'good' behavior since the merger announce

Yet we have no proof of collusion.

Comcast is on the record stating it did not allow the connection to degrade to the point of being intolerable. Netflix is on the record stating it didn't believe Comcast was degrading the connection. Do the math, it's not that difficult to surmise what is happening. Netflix realized what was going on and finally decided to do something about it.

morbo
Complete Your Transaction

join:2002-01-22
00000
Reviews:
·Charter

Re: Speed rankings show collusion and 'good' behavior since the merger announce

said by openbox9:

Yet we have no proof of collusion.

Yet we have solid data that supports a collusion theory.
openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
kudos:2

Re: Speed rankings show collusion and 'good' behavior since the merger announce

Where? Please show it.

FinePrint

@comcast.net
There was a change in measurement in Oct2013 that caused many providers to drop

IllBite

@sbcglobal.net

Comcast: Ever over subscribing customers & now Netflix has the data to prove it!

said by FinePrint :

change in measurement in Oct 2013

Yes... to focus on average speed in PRIME TIME. Paints a much clearer picture of the congestion.

i.e. They didn't "get worse", rather Comcast always had been, and still is, over subscribing customers without capacity to handle them. Same old sad story.
elefante72

join:2010-12-03
East Amherst, NY
They changed the metrics is September/OCT to PRIME to be more realistic. And if you noticed (and live in the NE) this was the worst winter I can recall in a long time, so guess what people are watching TV...and that means more network usage....

There is no collusion here or evil men hanging in the wings.

You can't even count google. What do they have 1000 people signed up, c'mon it's ridiculous to compare 1000 google people to 13+m Comcast.

IllBite

@sbcglobal.net

Comcast: We lack consistently average performance!

Comcast was #3 in Nov 2012. Rank AND average speed took a dive in 2nd half 2013 (to uverse levels). Better speed/$ my ass. Where's the outrage over false advertising? Can you say "class action"?

They don't say: Sorry our customers had to suffer poor performance for many months. We're taking steps to ensure it won't happen again.

It's a ploy. Will recur again and again...
macnbc

join:2009-01-12
Arlington, VA

1 recommendation

Re: Comcast: We lack consistently average performance!

The dive coincides with when Netflix started offering 1080p "Super HD" streams to everyone. I think that has more to do with the drop in rankings as the CDN-ISP connections became saturated, more than anything else.