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FiOS Falls in Netflix's Latest ISP Streaming Rankings
by Karl Bode 09:18AM Monday Nov 11 2013
Netflix has updated their rankings of ISP Netflix streaming performance with October data. The Netflix ISP Speed Index pulls data from more than 37 million Netflix members viewing over 1 billion hours of TV shows and movies streaming from Netflix per month. The listed speeds reflect the average performance of all Netflix streams on each ISP's network and "are an indicator of the performance typically experienced across all users on an ISP network," insists Netflix.

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Netflix says that September is the first rankings since the company made their Super HD and 3D streams available to all ISPs. Previously, Netflix only offered that content to ISPs who joined their Open Connect content delivery network.

Netflix has taken criticism for the rankings by companies like Sandvine, who have stated they're rather worthless since rankings are impacted by CDN partnerships.

As some readers also like to point out, the rankings don't reflect that many subscribers only subscribe to the speeds they can afford -- not necessarily the fastest connections their ISP can offer.

In terms of actual ISP pole positions, there's only some minor shake ups, with DSL providers (and Clearwire) still stumbling around the bottom of the data pile. Netflix shifted their attention from 24/7 performance to average prime time streaming performance, causing Verizon FiOS to fall from fifth place to seventh place behind Time Warner Cable (neither company is a Netflix CDN partner).

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Franklin Square, NY


How exactly did they fall? They were 2.14 the previous month and their speed increased to 2.2 in the month you specify. That's a slight increase, not decrease.



Re: Fall?

I think they mean in terms of position in the chart, many carrier's probably inched a little higher absolute speeds now that Super-HD can be streamed to any US carrier.

Karl Bode
News Guy

1 edit
They "fell" from fifth to seventh because other ISPs leap-frogged them.

as Mr. Pink as they come
Phoenix, AZ
fios has the bandwidth, netflix doesn't thats why they throttle.
Despises any post with strings.

Woodbridge, VA

Re: Fall?

said by dvd536:

fios has the bandwidth, netflix doesn't thats why they throttle.

I've never had them throttle here. I can get the top SuperHD stream from Netflix on my FiOS connection any time of the day, and day of the week. I have a couple dozen Netflix devices and they all work fine. They quickly ramp up to SuperHD and stay there.



3 recommendations

Not surprized

I don't know if it's a peering bottleneck, I know those are common with netflix.
Maybe Super-HD is overloading the peering ports.

But I've experienced this myself, several times during peak periods my netflix quality will plummet, last week I had a Super-HD title, streamings at 240p according to the PS3 information, It was a hazy and pixelated mess.

Speed test after about 30 minutes of this appeared completely normal. Well over my 50/25mbps advertised speeds

North Tonawanda, NY
·Verizon Online DSL
·Frontier Communi..

1 edit

Re: Not surprized

If you're watching Netflix on a PC, I would simply Ctrl + Alt + Shift + S and disable the auto quality adjustment. I do this on every player which allows me to adjust the quality for a few reasons, but it's helped a ton with performance in general when the player isn't having to switch between formats and qualities. To make this menu accessible from a remote control if you're using a PC as an HTPC, use something such as AutoHotKey to bind a button press sequence to the quality selection screen.

In the past, forcing the video quality on Netflix to be constant also gave me a progressively streamed video. Very similar to how YouTube used to buffer up before they started toying around and breaking everything with DASH. With that, I could select the 3500kbps bitrate on a 1000kbps Internet Connection, let the movie buffer up for 10 minutes while I prepare food, and then watch it uninterrupted without an issue. The movie would simply loading up the rest of the movie as I watched, or if I paused the movie for a few minutes to do something.



Re: Not surprized

I watch netflix on my PS3 and an LG blu-ray player, I don't have those options, I much prefer the convience of watching netflix on my tv without the hassles of a PC.

Most of the time Super-HD comes through fine, but from time to time during peak periods the quality degrades.

In any case if my video quality is being dialed back on a 50/25 mbit connection, and my connection is testing above advertised speeds, there is a bottleneck somewhere between Netflix and me.
Schaumburg, IL
It's insane how it works sometimes. Saturday, I watched "Europa Report". It streamed full 1080HD the whole time. The wired Ethernet switch showed normal buffering (about 1 second or so of activity, followed by several of nothing.)

Right after finishing the movie, I tried to watch an episode of "Star Trek: Enterprise". It would barely buffer even at 240SD. When I paused, it will still trying to buffer after 2 minutes!



1 recommendation

Re: Not surprized

Mine almost never stops to buffer, but a movie at 240SD on a 47inch tv is just a horrible experience. When I have a 50/25 mbit connection, I shouldn't have to deal with that.

East Amherst, NY
·Verizon FiOS

Re: Not surprized

You must know that if you have a 1.21 gigawatt laser in your Delorean, if the electricity to that Delorean is too small, it doesn't matter what your end pipe is, no laser for you.

You can stream ANY Netflix stream on a 15/5 line IF Verizon can get you the stream. If they can't you get crap.

This is the big fallacy of the race to a gig. If your provider (in my case FiOS) doesn't have adequate bandwidth to what you are trying to get (it doesn't) then, you will buffer or suffer rate adaptation.

I constantly tell people to downgrade their internet because they are simply wasting money. If you have Netflix and 2 limit, even superHD won't saturate a line of 15/5.

For some reason people think getting 100+ Mbit is better. Well it is if you are downloading something on the other end that can support it, but if it can't you are simply buying fractional jet shares for HSI execs. And if you must download a steam game in 10 minutes vs 50, I get it. You can't wait and have the cash. But if you think buying a 300 Mbit line will give you better Netflix quality, you are SORELY mistaken.

Cortland, NY

Re: Not surprized

+1 I get better Netflix stream on a 20Mbit fiber MPLS leg (shared with the office) at work then i did on 30mbit TWC "extreme" at home


Brooklyn, NY
This is why Netflix has to get rid of those horrible worthless godawful 240p encodes. I rather it buffer longer and start out at higher PQ where I can actually make out faces that don't look like blobs and even read credits.

Tampa Bay
·Verizon FiOS
·Bright House Net..
Yeah, my Netflix experience during the evening has really gone into the toilet in the past month or two. (I'm on FIOS.)

Very slow load times of sometimes 1-2 minutes before playback starts, quality often drops from HD down to 4 dots or 3 dots (sometimes down to 1 dot). Even displaying the queue has gotten very sluggish.

All the while, Amazon Prime streaming loads fast and quality is solid HD all evening long. We're spending more time watching Amazon as a result.

Performance during the morning and afternoon is fine.


I am still not buying the wide variations in streaming bitrates from provider to provider. If the same bitrates are available to everyone, and if the connections are fast enough to stream at the max bitrate available, the results should be relatively flat across the board. I can understand why the DSL providers are ranked lower, as they have many customers under 3 Mbps which would lower their averages. But the cable providers do not have that problem. One could say congestion with peers is causing the difference (like it did with FiOS) but there is still sizable variations between those who joined CDN. Like Google Fiber vs. Cablevision. Both are on CDN. Both have all speed tiers in excess of their Netflix averages. Cablevision actually has an edge, because Google Fiber's free tier is not fast enough for SuperHD or 3D. But Cablevision ranks a lot lower. Why? Fiber vs. Cable, Gigabit for $70 is completely irrelevant here.

Lincroft, NJ

Netflix's new pitch for Open Connect: it sucks less during prime time

An article about this on the GigaOM site today:

Netflix’s new pitch for Open Connect: it sucks less during prime time
By Janko Roettgers, GigaOM - November 11, 2013
»gigaom.com/2013/11/11/netflixs-n ··· me-time/

Washington, IL

Frontier logging in at #13/#17 and 1.7Mbps

Frontier still one of the slowest DSL providers....AT&T DSL and Verizon DSL even worse...

Got to feel sorry for those AT&T/Verizon DSL customers, neither firm gives 2 hoots about these old DSL customers.

Washington, DC

Re: Frontier logging in at #13/#17 and 1.7Mbps

I'm an old Verizon DSL customer, good thing I don't watch Netflix These rankings really are Netflix-specific, very useful for people who watch a lot of Netflix, but less interesting to Netflix-free folk like me.

Plano, TX

1 edit

1 recommendation

It's all in the peering

It seems most ISPs have been allowing Netflix either direct peers or to even host a Netflix CDN proxy directly on their backbone.

Verizon still refuses to do this and usually does not direct peer with Netflix. Same with Youtube. It's been discussed pretty thoroughly on the FiOS forums and stirred quite a debate if Verizon or Netflix should pay for the peering. I'm in the camp that Verizon should pony up since it's Verizon customers like me who utilize their internet service for internet services such as youtube and netflix. The other camp which Verizon is in thinks Netflix and Youtube needs to pay for the peering.

It doesn't matter though, it's Verizon who will lose the customers and stands to lose the most out of this when their Netflix and Youtube users find out that they actually get better results on another service like TWC or Optimum. I just wonder how long it will take Verizon to realize this is why they're losing FiOS subscribers.


Merced, CA

Re: It's all in the peering

Looks like netflix is the issue to me. It lags and I have comcast xtreme 105


·Verizon FiOS
They arent losing customers when they have a positive flow of net adds every quarter, but of course, their churn would be better if this problem was fixed.
They will have no interest in fixing this for Netflix when they have their own Redbox streaming product.
Time Warner and Cablevision are losing customers every quarter, they would be in serious trouble if the Netflix-VZ problem is fixed.

Fort Worth, TX


I wonder why EPB isn't on there.



misleading title

yes fios fell in rankings but average better now than before. wonder where RCN falls.

Edmonton, AB

no Canada?

they dont have a Canadian ISP option there?

would be great to see which of the smaller isps have better speeds


Seattle, WA

Content is key!

Instead of spending all this time and money ranking ISPs maybe Neflix should focus on getting better content!