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Netflix Ranks The Best ISPs for Streaming
Google Fiber & FiOS Best, DSL and Wireless, Worst
by Karl Bode 08:46AM Wednesday Dec 12 2012 Tipped by xenophon See Profile
Netflix has once again ranked the best ISPs for streaming content. According to this Netflix blog post, the company's rankings come from 30 million members viewing over 1 billion hours of Netflix each month. ISPs are ranked based on the average speed for Netflix streams delivered to each carriers' customers.

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Not too surprisingly, the companies who spend heavily on last mile infrastructure top out the rankings (Google Fiber, Verizon FiOS, Comcast), while those who made the decision to skimp on network investment (AT&T's U-Verse project, which chose FTTN over FTTH) suffer in the rankings.

Rather unsurprising is the fact that DSL providers continue to deliver a fairly poor streaming experience to customers. Companies like Frontier Communications, also criticized by the FCC for poor peak speeds, continue to struggle to deliver even last-generation speeds to most of their users. In contrast, cable operators fared better thanks to inexpensive but highly potent DOCSIS 3.0 infrastructure upgrades.

The bottom of the rankings are filled with wireless carriers, in large part because they tend to more frequently throttle. Interestingly, Netflix did show 40% better performance on the Verizon wireless network than on AT&T's wireless network, courtesy of Verizon's larger LTE network.

"The average performance is well below the peak performance due to a variety of factors including home Wi-Fi, a variety of devices, and a variety of encodes," says Netflix. "The relative ranking, however, should be an accurate indicator of relative bandwidth typically experienced across all users, homes, and applications."

Netflix has been ranking ISPs since last year, though they say they're now going to be releasing these rankings once a month, something that surely thrills executives and the poorer performing carriers.


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