dslreports logo
spacer
1
spacer
 
   
spc
story category
Google Begins Ranking ISP Streaming Performance
by Karl Bode 06:26PM Thursday May 29 2014 Tipped by newview See Profile
Back in January you might recall that Google started heavily promoting a video quality report for YouTube that tracked YouTube streaming performance by ISP. The effort appears to be an attempt to educate users on the numerous steps between YouTube servers and your PC, and, like Netflix's ISP streaming rankings, highlight how some ISPs perform worse than others.

Click for full size
It was only today however that Google and YouTube finally started offering the results of their findings. Users can now click this link to see a breakdown of streaming performance for their area, as well as whether or not their ISP is "HD verified."

"If your provider can consistently deliver HD video, a resolution of at least 720p, without buffering or interruptions--it’s HD Verified," the company states in a blog post. Google's methodology is posted here.

If you click the link and change the location shown, you'll quickly note that many large ISPs in major markets aren't HD verified. Time Warner Cable and AT&T's U-Verse can only offer "standard definition" (at least 360p) in many markets (though U-Verse is HD verified in Orlando). CenturyLink is HD Verified in Detroit, but not in San Francisco. Google Fiber is the only ISP HD verified in Kansas City, etc.

That said, there's work to be done. Google's data incorrectly shows several ISPs as not being HD verified when they don't even offer broadband in those markets. Hopefully Google can fix this and make national rankings easier to navigate.

Like Netflix, Google would like it if ISPs would host their Google Global Cache appliances for smoother video streaming. The company recently discussed at length how such no-cost colocation helps the entire content ecosystem. Google's other goal is to make it clear they're not always the ones responsible for congestion, something that's increasingly murky courtesy of the intensified debate over peering and transit.

view:
topics flat nest 
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA

Pot, Kettle

Google caused this whole problem when they disabled pre-buffering.
sandman_1

join:2011-04-23
11111

Re: Pot, Kettle

Funny, I can download data in GBs at full speed for an extended period of time yet I can't stream a 720p or 1080p video on Youtube without some sort of buffering on a 30Mbps connection. Seems to me, my ISP is purposely degrading Youtube performance to some end. Maybe so they can extort money? Me thinks that is the case. Google is not the problem here.
78036364

join:2014-05-06
USA

Re: Pot, Kettle

said by sandman_1:

Funny, I can download data in GBs at full speed for an extended period of time yet I can't stream a 720p or 1080p video on Youtube without some sort of buffering on a 30Mbps connection. Seems to me, my ISP is purposely degrading Youtube performance to some end. Maybe so they can extort money? Me thinks that is the case. Google is not the problem here.

your tinfoil hat is on a bit too tight.

Napsterbater
Meh
Premium,MVM
join:2002-12-28
Milledgeville, GA
Reviews:
·Xcelerate Broadb..
·VOIPO
·Windstream

Re: Pot, Kettle

said by 78036364:

your tinfoil hat is on a bit too tight.

Not really, did you see what happened to Netflix? same problem for youtube.
--
IPv6 Sage - ipv6.he.net/certification/scoresheet.php?pass_name=Napsterbater
www.napshome.net
78036364

join:2014-05-06
USA

Re: Pot, Kettle

said by Napsterbater:

said by 78036364:

your tinfoil hat is on a bit too tight.

Not really, did you see what happened to Netflix? same problem for youtube.

Sorry no one "purposely" did anything. Continue to believe your conspiracy theories. maybe one day one might come true. Oh by teh way Google has PLENTY of it's own fiber. Wouldn't be wise for someone to f--k with them. They might need to use some of it someday.

Kasoah

join:2013-08-20
Merced, CA

Re: Pot, Kettle

wahahahaha
sandman_1

join:2011-04-23
11111
Drank the kool-aid have we?
BiggA
Premium
join:2005-11-23
EARTH
Comcast had issues for years.

Kosh
We are all Kosh
Premium
join:2005-11-16
Z'ha'dum
Reviews:
·CenturyLink
Killing the pre-buffering ruined the Youtube experience for me. Thankfully Firefox has the 'Youtube Center' add-on, which among other things, allows you to DISABLE the 'superior' DASH Playback 'feature'.
--
"I'm just a human being trying to make it in a world that is very rapidly losing its understanding of being human." - John Trudell
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA

Re: Pot, Kettle

A firefox plugin works for the few who know to look for it and install it, everyone else is screwed.

Google broke something that didn't need fixing.

Kosh
We are all Kosh
Premium
join:2005-11-16
Z'ha'dum
Reviews:
·CenturyLink

Re: Pot, Kettle

said by elray:

Google broke something that didn't need fixing.

From a user perspective, definitely.

From the perspective of Google's network team and their accountants, no way - they save a ton of bandwidth using DASH. That way they can reduce costs and pay their executives mo' money. Everyone wins!!!
--
"I'm just a human being trying to make it in a world that is very rapidly losing its understanding of being human." - John Trudell
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·EarthLink

Re: Pot, Kettle

said by Kosh:

said by elray:

Google broke something that didn't need fixing.

From a user perspective, definitely.

From the perspective of Google's network team and their accountants, no way - they save a ton of bandwidth using DASH. That way they can reduce costs and pay their executives mo' money. Everyone wins!!!

According to Google and its minions, bandwidth is copious and plentiful. That's why we should all be using "the cloud" and Chromebooks.

Killing the user experience means fewer eyeballs to watch the ads - that seems counterproductive.

Mike
Premium,Mod
join:2000-09-17
Pittsburgh, PA
kudos:1

1 recommendation

That's depressing

Okay so I'm on FiOS.

"View other providers in your area"

Only other choice is Comcast.

damn it.
BlueC

join:2009-11-26
Minneapolis, MN
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast
·Integra Telecom

Stats

These statistics will look bad for any ISP that offers an economy tier, or offers public WiFi service (as those stats will drop the overall ranking and make it appear as if the ISP cannot sustain HD streams).

Mediocre at best, unfortunately. Hopefully they'll adjust things later.
78036364

join:2014-05-06
USA

Re: Stats

also I bet it doesn't take into account people who deliberately stream in lower quality even though they could be streaming in HD.
silbaco
Premium
join:2009-08-03
USA

Re: Stats

I don't know. It says my ISP has 96% HD. While my ISP has 0 streaming issues, I doubt 96% of videos watched are even offered in HD.
BiggA
Premium
join:2005-11-23
EARTH
What I want to know is why my YouTube has never defaulted to 1080p- it always defaults to 480p and then I have to manually change it...
BiggA
Premium
join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Re: Stats

Actually, it will go to 720p, but not 1080p...
silbaco
Premium
join:2009-08-03
USA

Re: Stats

Mine defaults to 360P despite the fact that my internet is fast enough to stream their 4K.
existenz

join:2014-02-12
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Google Fiber
Yeah, I agree. Even Google Fiber offers a 5M tier that impact their own results.

»dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/3812 ··· iber.png
BiggA
Premium
join:2005-11-23
EARTH
I'm sure they have ways of filtering that out. People could have slow wifi too.
BlueC

join:2009-11-26
Minneapolis, MN
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast
·Integra Telecom

Re: Stats

said by BiggA:

I'm sure they have ways of filtering that out. People could have slow wifi too.

How so? How would they be able to pinpoint the difference between someone being limited by the service tier they're subscribed to and a slow WiFi connection (something the ISP has basically no control over)?

It's very misleading to take a small sample of experiences and weigh that against the vast majority of user experiences within a network.

Most ISPs should be able to support HD streams. It just so happens a lot of subscribers tend to take the cheapest tier, and the cheapest tier could easily be under the throughput required to sustain HD.
BiggA
Premium
join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Re: Stats

It's obviously driven by congestion up the network or on peering ports, based on the time based nature of it, so customers that are always slow can be counted differently than ones that are sometimes fast and sometimes slow, and they can also figure out what a "baseline" percentage of customers who just have crappy equipment is in order to compare ISPs against one another.

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

excellent results here...

... on comcast at 1080, higher rates stumble due to a crappy video card.
but almost all western Washington providers are PRETTY good at the measured 720p
the exceptions are in the san juan islands (limited backhaul) and Oly peninsula based companies (somewhat limited backhaul)

bmccoy

join:2013-03-18
Port Orchard, WA

Re: excellent results here...

Weird, they're identifying Wave Broadband as Astound Broadband in western WA. Astound only serves the SF Bay area (though they're Wave's sister company). These listings could use a bit of work, still.

jmn1207
Premium
join:2000-07-19
Ashburn, VA
kudos:1

Hold On Now

"When your ISP receives your video from YouTube, they begin the important job of carrying it across their network to your home. They must ensure there’s enough capacity where they receive the data from YouTube. Otherwise, your video streaming quality will suffer."


Exactly what does Google mean by this statement? Clearly this is the responsibility of the company sending the data, and not the responsibility of the ISP to support their paying customers. Otherwise, what the hell was Netflix doing paying Comcast to ensure there was enough capacity for Comcast's interconnections and "last mile" to its captive customer base?

It should be Google's responsibility from what Comcast told me.

nekkidtruth
YISMM
Premium
join:2002-05-20
London, ON
kudos:2
Reviews:
·WIND Mobile
·Rogers Hi-Speed

Re: Hold On Now

Google means exactly what it says. Herein lies the problem though. Netflix set a pretty dangerous precedent with regards to net neutrality when they signed a deal with Comcast. However, they didn't have a choice.

The ISP is responsible to provide you with enough capacity (especially at the prices you pay your ISP) to reach whatever content you desire. Rather than adjust to accommodate their own customers, they indulge in sketchy business practices such as what Google is stating and the end result (aside from pissing their own customers off) allows them to double dip. Getting paid twice for the same data.
--
Weeeeeee
78036364

join:2014-05-06
USA

Re: Hold On Now

said by nekkidtruth:

Google means exactly what it says. Herein lies the problem though. Netflix set a pretty dangerous precedent with regards to net neutrality when they signed a deal with Comcast. However, they didn't have a choice.

That Comcast deal is not the same as the "fast lane" deals everyone is having a hissy fit about. And even a rock solid net neutrality law would not prevent Comcast type deals. All Netflix did was swap Cogent for Comcast when it comes to Comcast traffic.

nekkidtruth
YISMM
Premium
join:2002-05-20
London, ON
kudos:2
Reviews:
·WIND Mobile
·Rogers Hi-Speed

1 recommendation

Re: Hold On Now

Which shouldn't have been necessary had Comcast been doing what they're suppose to be doing by catering to their customers. Instead, we now have double dipping and it smacks net neutrality in the face. You're talking about the Netflix deal with Comcast like it isn't basically the same thing as a "fast lane" deal. They are the same and Comcast is double dipping with both.
--
Weeeeeee

jmn1207
Premium
join:2000-07-19
Ashburn, VA
kudos:1
said by 78036364:

That Comcast deal is not the same as the "fast lane" deals everyone is having a hissy fit about. And even a rock solid net neutrality law would not prevent Comcast type deals. All Netflix did was swap Cogent for Comcast when it comes to Comcast traffic.

In 2010, wasn't it Level 3 Communications that Netflix was using that was having issues with Comcast? Seems like there really wasn't much of a choice for Netflix to do business with Comcast's captive customers no matter what option they attempted to use, so they had to directly pay Comcast.

I think I've got it now. If your business is in a position with dominant control of an area with no legitimate competition and no alternatives for your customer base, then you are free to use this leverage to demand payment for services that would otherwise already have been paid for in a situation where competition existed.

nekkidtruth
YISMM
Premium
join:2002-05-20
London, ON
kudos:2

Re: Hold On Now

Bingo. Toss in they now get paid from both ends and well...
--
Weeeeeee
silbaco
Premium
join:2009-08-03
USA
They could have continued to use LimeLight and Akamai. It was Netflix's decision to abandon them.

jmn1207
Premium
join:2000-07-19
Ashburn, VA
kudos:1

Re: Hold On Now

said by silbaco:

They could have continued to use LimeLight and Akamai. It was Netflix's decision to abandon them.

How long before Comcast demanded additional payment from LimeLight or Akamai if Netflix used either of them? I guess if Comcast wanted more money, they could simply let these peering points saturate as well.

In the end, unless something changes, there really was only one option for Netflix to deal with Comcast, and that was to give them money for something they already paid for with their own ISP.

Let's hope that Comcast does not become too greedy. Is one new skyscraper going to be enough?

odreian615

join:2006-01-18
Chicago, IL

It's YouTube that wack not your ISP

Smaller video services have no problem showing videos
78036364

join:2014-05-06
USA

Re: It's YouTube that wack not your ISP

because they don't have 1% the traffic YouTube does
existenz

join:2014-02-12
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Google Fiber

Google Fiber declares itself HD Verified

But not the others in KC. Surprise...

»dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/3812 ··· iber.png

Not sure how meaningful this is given that some people have the 'free' 5M service.
silbaco
Premium
join:2009-08-03
USA

Re: Google Fiber declares itself HD Verified

Some people also have 1.5Mbps/3Mbps service from the incumbents to save money. That can distort results.
StubbyinKCMO

join:2008-11-15
Kansas City, MO
Click for full size
Here is what I get when I try to pull it up over TWC. Don't know why the Google wont show the right thing.
silbaco
Premium
join:2009-08-03
USA

2 edits

Rankings

Could use some work. It seems to identify Mediacom as At&t and in many areas it doesn't even show up. It groups me in on to the wrong market. And has some ISPs listed in areas they don't even offer service.

Edit: The results are not the same for everyone. If I use a VPN I can't even look at my market because there is not enough info.

Yes

@50.182.54.x

Youtube getting HD my area 93-98% of the time

Youtube is getting HD in my zipcode 93-98% of the time.


•••

powerspec88
Premium
join:2007-03-11
Mission, KS

Google Fiber not the only one in KC area.

Comcast here in Independence is HD Verified. Now AT&T is not in my area...

»www.dropbox.com/s/ij78luolrfymqf ··· fied.PNG
Bob61571

join:2008-08-08
Washington, IL

1 edit

Thank you Frontier for showing that you are Mediocre (at best)

in my area!!!

We are moving to another ISP for this reason, among others!!
xthepeoplesx

join:2013-10-21

Time Warner

Time Warner in my area is only SD. Nothing I didnt already know. But I would love to be able to use SD over what CenturyLink provides me with on DSL.

disconnected

@32.217.40.x

160p is all they give me on dsl

During the fall and winter my yotube stream would default to 160p an even at that speed, id have 80% with buffering to get 20% actual view time.