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Netflix Releases ISP Streaming Rankings For June
Google Fiber, Cablevision Continue to Top Rankings
by Karl Bode 06:09PM Monday Jul 08 2013
Earlier this year Netflix began ranking the quality of video streaming performance for each of the nation's largest ISPs. HD streams have variable bitrate but can potentially top out at around 4800 kilobits per second, and the data, gleaned from 36 million Netflix members who view over 1 billion hours of TV shows, provides a bird's eye view by ISP of sustained throughput available from a given ISP over time.

Click for full size
Netflix just released their latest ISP rankings for June and by and large they're unchanged, with Google Fiber in the top spot, Cablevision's Optimum Online in the second spot, and various DSL operators continuing to flouder around the bottom half of the rankings. AT&T's U-Verse in particular continues a fairly poor showing, dropping a spot to tenth in the rankings.

ISPs which in the past had historically improved in Netflix performance because of faster speeds, have the last few months found themselves falling because they're not signing up for Netflix's CDN network. As noted earlier this year, Netflix stated they'd start offering users "Super HD" and 3D streams -- if their ISP signed up for Netflix's new Open Connect Content Delivery Network.

As expected many bigger ISPs, most of whom have had neutrality fights with Netflix previously, have not agreed to Netflix's demand for special CDN treatment (AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, Time Warner Cable, Charter, Brighthouse, etc) and are dropping more and more in the Netflix ratings each month.

ISPs who agreed to sign up (Cablevision, Suddenlink, and obviously Cox) have seen miraculously huge gains. ISPs like Comcast and FiOS have even seen their overall average delivery speeds rise, yet because they've balked at Netflix's proposal have fallen to eighth and sixth place, respectively. Verizon's FiOS had a particularly hard month due to a peering fight with Cogent that resulted in lower performance, though that didn't appear to factor into last month's ratings.

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silbaco
Premium
join:2009-08-03
USA

Google Fiber

Congratulations to the 3 subscribers on Google Fiber. You have the best Netflix experience available. Those of you on other fiber or cable ISPs who have many more subscribers than Google Fiber, sorry, but you don't get to know where you rank because your ISP isn't important enough to Netflix's agenda.

battleop

join:2005-09-28
00000

1 recommendation

Re: Google Fiber

Precisely why this "ranking" is 100% bullshit.
elray

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

Re: Google Fiber

It isn't ranking, its a rather clever, no-cost PR campaign.

The media, as well as this blog, love to find any reason to hate, and happily parrot any "findings" without bothering to interrogate them.

Netflix is crying crocodile tears all the way to the bank, invoking the Network Neutrality card, while flagrantly violating its principles and spirit.

Google is of course, happy to play along.
xenophon

join:2007-09-17

Re: Google Fiber

said by elray:

It isn't ranking, its a rather clever, no-cost PR campaign.

The media, as well as this blog, love to find any reason to hate, and happily parrot any "findings" without bothering to interrogate them.

Netflix is crying crocodile tears all the way to the bank, invoking the Network Neutrality card, while flagrantly violating its principles and spirit.

Google is of course, happy to play along.

this
CXM_Splicer
Looking at the bigger picture
Premium
join:2011-08-11
NYC
kudos:2
said by silbaco:

Congratulations to the 3 subscribers on Google Fiber. You have the best Netflix experience available. Those of you on other fiber or cable ISPs who have many more subscribers than Google Fiber, sorry, but you don't get to know where you rank because your ISP isn't important enough to Netflix's agenda.

... or perhaps it has nothing to do with the number of subscribers but rather the quality of the experience for the subscribers they DO have?

To the subscribers on other ISPs who don't get to know your rank because it is so crappy it doesn't make the top 10... sorry, get a different ISP if you want to use Netflix streaming.
silbaco
Premium
join:2009-08-03
USA

1 edit

Re: Google Fiber

Or not. If it had anything to do with quality, the last 6 ISPs listed wouldn't rank in the top 100. There are hundreds of providers with ftth in the US and many well run cable companies who would rank far above Clearwire in terms of quality. There are many who would rank higher than Google in terms of subscribers. But they don't help Netflix with their agenda so they are not listed.

DataRiker
Premium
join:2002-05-19
00000

Re: Google Fiber

said by silbaco:

Or not. If it had anything to do with quality, the last 6 ISPs listed wouldn't rank in the top 100. There are hundreds of providers with ftth in the US and many well run cable companies who would rank far above Clearwire in terms of quality. There are many who would rank higher than Google in terms of subscribers. But they don't help Netflix with their agenda so they are not listed.

And without having their info, exactly how do you know what ISPs offer better quality service than the others?

silbaco
Premium
join:2009-08-03
USA

Re: Google Fiber

If Netflix can tell the average speeds of these ISPs, they can surely tell the average speeds and quality of any ISP. Especially when they join CDN, which many small ISPs that can, do.

DataRiker
Premium
join:2002-05-19
00000

Re: Google Fiber

So what?

They are not going to rate every ISP in the country. I seriously doubt they are simply randomly making these results up.

And another thing. As someone who has used many ISP's both here and abroad ( South Korea, Vietnam, Kansas, Missouri, Louisiana ) I can say without a doubt Google fiber is by far the best ISP in terms of both speed and quality of service I've ever had the pleasure of using. ( COX comes a close second or third as well )
silbaco
Premium
join:2009-08-03
USA

Re: Google Fiber

No doubt Google Fiber is a great quality service. I have yet to see a residential fiber service that isn't. That doesn't mean it should be ranked on the Netflix's chart. EPB is more than fast enough and has great service from what I hear. But they don't rank, despite probably having more subscribers than Google Fiber. My ISP has an extensive fiber network, is part of OpenCDN, and offers a Netflix experience no less than superb 24/7. They had more subscribers than Google Fiber when this chart started (might still) but they didn't rank. The point being, the chart is nothing but some game Netflix is playing to try to get the public mad at their ISPs. It is meaningless.

DataRiker
Premium
join:2002-05-19
00000

Re: Google Fiber

Yes its very meaningless.

But your extrapolation is that not being on the list is bad. Which I think is very incorrect.

Netflix is obviously ranking "popular" or recognizable ISP's. Google is probably at this point one of the most talked about ISP's on the net right now. Like them or not.

DataRiker
Premium
join:2002-05-19
00000
said by silbaco:

Congratulations to the 3 subscribers on Google Fiber. You have the best Netflix experience available. Those of you on other fiber or cable ISPs who have many more subscribers than Google Fiber, sorry, but you don't get to know where you rank because your ISP isn't important enough to Netflix's agenda.

I don't think this is a number of subs list......
silbaco
Premium
join:2009-08-03
USA

Re: Google Fiber

Considering no major ISP is absent, I think it is pretty clear that it is with the exception of the Google Fiber.
Atekido

join:2002-08-25
Crossett, AR
Google fiber is the best thing to EVER happen in the broadband world. It has put a serious stink eye on all the other ISPs. who cares if there in bed with Netflix or anyone. The fact is they are the SOLE reason other isp's have been bumping up speeds.
silbaco
Premium
join:2009-08-03
USA

Re: Google Fiber

You are hilarious. Google Fiber has nothing to do with the speed increases ISPs have been making, with the exception of Time Warner in Kansas City. ISPs have been making speed increases for years, a little project in a single city is not changing the broadband world.

DataRiker
Premium
join:2002-05-19
00000

Re: Google Fiber

I disagree. This is and will be a major motivating factor for ISPs. You can literally sense the frustration factor of every CEO when google fiber is brought up in their presence.

ATT has announced its bringing 1 Gbit to Austin and Google has not even arrived yet.

Thats pretty powerful if you ask me.

I would be willing to bet that will translate later to 1 gbit/s in KC as well for ATT.

newview
Ex .. Ex .. Exactly
Premium
join:2001-10-01
Parsonsburg, MD
kudos:1

To my mind ...

An eighth or ninth place finish for Comcast in any category is a huge improvement for them ... since they are usually dead last, especially in customer service & satisfaction.

Morac
Cat god

join:2001-08-30
Riverside, NJ
kudos:1

Re: To my mind ...

Except they were ranked #3 in earlier rankings back before Netflix started punishing ISP's that didn't partner with them.

DaSneaky1D
what's up
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-29
The Lou

Impressive, Charter!

Not using the Netflix CDN and right behind the three providers that are.

tiger72
SexaT duorP
Premium
join:2001-03-28
Saint Louis, MO
kudos:1

Re: Impressive, Charter!

I was thinking the same thing. WTG Charter!
Cobra11M

join:2010-12-23
Mineral Wells, TX

...woo

Glad to see my provider (suddenlink) doin pretty good.. sadly their caps don't help lol, but turning off HD to lower quality stream saves a lot of data
MURICA

join:2013-01-03

No one cares about you and your lies, Netflix.

You bitrate-starve your shitty "HD" streams so low that even a pathetic 6 Mbps DSL connection from the '90s is fast enough to stream your "HD" content.

Your lists of "ISP streaming rankings" are worthless because even the cheapest, slowest speed tier of just about every broadband provider in the United States is fast enough to stream your 1080p streams.

A solidly middle-of-the-road Time Warner Cable 30 Mbps connection has enough capacity to sustain four 1080p streams from Netflix simultaneously. AT&T U-verse's crappy 12 Mbps package? It can do two 1080p Netflix streams. That's how badly they molest the quality of their HD streams.

Maybe when you start pushing streams that don't look like ass by giving them some serious bitrates (I'm talking in excess of 30 Mbps; the types of bitrates used by Blu-ray discs) the "quality" of the ISP will matter for your service.

As it stands now your standards for "HD" are so low that even the most shit tier ISPs can handle them just fine so there is zero difference between someone on DSL and someone on Google Fiber when it comes to your service because you refuse to provider higher bitrate material, and you're not fooling any of us if you try to convince us otherwise.

Google Fiber and AT&T customers alike both get the same crappy 5 Mbps 1080p stream. I have DVDs that have a higher bitrate than Netflix's "HD" streams. (The DVD-Video specifications allow bitrates up to 10 Mbps)

FFH5
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

2 edits

2 recommendations

Re: No one cares about you and your lies, Netflix.

Netflix sends out heavily compressed streams because they know a large % of their customers are using connections that have caps. And they also want their streams going over wireless cellphone connections and give users the option of .3GB/hr stream quality.

Netflix quality options customizable by customer:
Good quality (up to 0.3 GB per hour)
Better quality (up to 0.7 GB per hour)
Best quality (up to 1.0 GB per hour, or up to 2.3 GB per hour for HD) - 2 to 5 Mbps streaming.

--
"If you want to anger a conservative lie to him.
If you want to anger a liberal tell him the truth."

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

1 recommendation

said by MURICA:

Google Fiber and AT&T customers alike both get the same crappy 5 Mbps 1080p stream...

So you're saying nobody needs google fiber?
That actual mass content providers aren't serving any faster than DSL anyway?
That the market doesn't demand 30Mbps streams because most people aren't willing to pay the cost of that sort of service?
Face it, Netflix/ the mass market for streaming is about "instant" and cheap quantity not, film like quality.
Order the Blu-ray.

DataRiker
Premium
join:2002-05-19
00000

Re: No one cares about you and your lies, Netflix.

said by tshirt:

said by MURICA:

Google Fiber and AT&T customers alike both get the same crappy 5 Mbps 1080p stream...

So you're saying nobody needs google fiber?

So why wouldn't you want faster internet for cheaper? Seems kind of strange to me.

I went from paying 79 bucks for 30 meg service to 70 bucks for 1,000 meg service.

What am I missing here?
silbaco
Premium
join:2009-08-03
USA

Re: No one cares about you and your lies, Netflix.

Give it a couple years. You'll find you are missing your privacy, when Google fulfills their original intention of Google Fiber which people have conveniently forgotten. That is, find out the information that an ISP has on people that was previously inaccessible to Google.

DataRiker
Premium
join:2002-05-19
00000

Re: No one cares about you and your lies, Netflix.

said by silbaco:

Give it a couple years. You'll find you are missing your privacy, when Google fulfills their original intention of Google Fiber which people have conveniently forgotten. That is, find out the information that an ISP has on people that was previously inaccessible to Google.

I don't think my previous ISP was any better.

Besides, if one is concerned with privacy ( which I am ) it can be dealt with very easily ( and free )

elios

join:2005-11-15
Springfield, MO
if you dont think ATT, Verizon et all are doing that any way your kidding your self

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

said by tshirt:

said by MURICA:

Google Fiber and AT&T customers alike both get the same crappy 5 Mbps 1080p stream...

So you're saying nobody needs google fiber?

So why wouldn't you want faster internet for cheaper? Seems kind of strange to me.

I went from paying 79 bucks for 30 meg service to 70 bucks for 1,000 meg service.

What am I missing here?

There is nothing wrong with it...if you can get it.*
My response to that poster was you can't really complain you need faster speed AND that there are not legit sources that serve faster than a 5Mbps dsl account can handle (yes I know he's got 200 kids that all want to stream something slightly different or the same thing slightly time shifted from each other )

The point being that I believe that the GoogleFiber price does not represent ALL the true costs, and that typical broadband users offered a variety of packages at different speed/ price points at real market value, won't be willing to pay for the high end, which is what influences the level of investment in broadband .
In reality broadband users today would better served with 10 times the users getting 100M service than a few getting Gig service.
even more for the 'outermost last mile' if 100 times the users got 10 Mbps rather than the very few getting one gig service.

*You are unusual in the sense that you apparently can freely move to find the speeds you want. Most people are much more tied to a fairly limited location by home, work or family obligations and have to deal with what is available within their budget at those locations.
norm

join:2012-10-18
Pittsburgh, PA
kudos:1

1 recommendation

That's why during peak hours I can only stream 1mbit on my 75/35mbit FiOS connection, right? Thanks, crappy peering!

aaronwt
Premium
join:2004-11-07
Woodbridge, VA
said by MURICA:

.....................

Google Fiber and AT&T customers alike both get the same crappy 5 Mbps 1080p stream. I have DVDs that have a higher bitrate than Netflix's "HD" streams. (The DVD-Video specifications allow bitrates up to 10 Mbps)

Don't forget about 3D. Those 1080P Netflix 3D streams are around 11 or 12 Mb/s.

battleop

join:2005-09-28
00000

Must be a very slow news day....

Netflix is looking for attention and Karl is more than happy to give it to them. Kind of reminds me of every time Mark Cuban flaps his yap and Karl gives him his needed attention fix.
--
I do not, have not, and will not work for AT&T/Comcast/Verizon/Charter or similar sized company.

Guspaz
Guspaz
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-05
Montreal, QC
kudos:23

Stop ignoring Canada, Netflix.

Once again, your streaming rankings mention every Netflix territory except Canada. What's up with that?

•••

Cabal
Premium
join:2007-01-21

LOL @ Karl

There's nothing miraculous about an in-house CDN. That's kinda how they work. Free hardware, on your network, closest to the customer.
--
If you can't open it, you don't own it.
silbaco
Premium
join:2009-08-03
USA

Re: LOL @ Karl

Joining the Netflix CDN does not mean they use the hardware appliances. In fact the requirements are pretty steep to even get one. Most small ISPs don't even qualify.

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

Netflix Has Problems

Either Netflix has issues with my 50/10 Comcast connection, or Comcast is doing something to the Netflix streams. I've verified that my Netflix account is allowing the best quality streams on Netflix.

»movies.netflix.com/HdToggle

Trying to watch Avengers on Netflix and I could not keep an HD stream with my Roku. I immediately switched over to my Amazon Prime channel on the Roku and I was able to watch the same move in HD with no issues.
ArizonaSteve

join:2004-01-31
Apache Junction, AZ

Re: Netflix Has Problems

Yeah I have the same problem on CenturyLink. It won't run in HD anymore so I had to switch to "Better" quality that only gives me 3 stars but it's still wide screen.
Kamus

join:2011-01-27
El Paso, TX

The results are for the most part, meaningless.

So what if one ISP is better than another? in most situations people can't switch to a different ISP in the first place. That and the fact that most people don't have a clue what a megabit is. It's sad, but so true.

rolande
Certifiable
Premium,Mod
join:2002-05-24
Dallas, TX
kudos:6
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·ViaTalk

This message seems backwards to me...

The average Google fiber user can only get a 3.5Meg stream from Netflix? Or is that the average of all the customer streams to Google fiber users? If the latter, this ranking means exactly nothing. Whose to say what the sample sizes are and the distribution of the actual streaming content bitrates across those sample sizes? This is fuzzy math at best which can not provide any real useful conclusions.

Alternatively, it says to me that Netflix really sucks at distributing their content. I have 24Meg Uverse and can easily sustain 4 to 6 way multi-point video conferences at 3Meg bitrates with little to no artifacts. I have run perf tests to various systems and can sustain 22.4Meg of throughput. I've also tested over an IPSec VPN connection from Dallas to San Francisco and have been able to sustain 12-14 Meg throughput during peak traffic periods through a fairly heavily loaded VPN gateway with around 3000 other users on it. An average 1.9Meg streaming bitrate is pathetic for a service that performs like mine.

If Netflix is trying to use these numbers to say the average streaming experience for a customer on said ISP is better or worse, they should be prepared to reveal how they rolled the data. Is the unique client and stream sample size n greater than 1000 for each carrier? Is the collection methodology identical for each carrier? Were the stats for the streams organized by similar encoding quality? I doubt the answer to the last question is yes. They likely averaged it all out. It would provide much more meaningful results if they used a client and stream sample size greater than 1000 and categorized the results based on the actual encoding bitrate and not the average of the content.

There are way too many variables in play for them to make any meaningful statistical analysis, unless they reveal their control set for the data.
--
Scott, CCIE #14618 Routing & Switching
»rolande.wordpress.com/

•••

JimThePCGuy
Formerly known as schja01.
Premium,MVM
join:2000-04-27
Morton Grove, IL

Open Connect isn't helping Clearwire

Clearwire is an Open Connect user and it's dead last.
tmc8080

join:2004-04-24
Brooklyn, NY

useful?

would be better to know how the free alternatives are fairing... those being:

filmon
bittorrent
xbmc
streaming websites outside the usa (etc).

Now that I've been on both providers.. not as well as it should.

Gart

@cox.net

Re: useful?

XBMC is software, not a CDN, and BitTorrent is a specification.
HarryH3
Premium
join:2005-02-21
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Suddenlink

Caps make "speed" rather meaningless

Wow, so Suddenlink is ranked in the top 5? Too bad I had to login to my Netflix acct. and limit how fast they send data to our devices. Why? So that we wouldn't exceed our Suddenlink data cap.

lordfly

join:2000-10-12
Homestead, FL
Reviews:
·SkyNet360

Sony users - big issue

If anyone streams through a Sony device beware. It seems that the stream is first routed through a Sony server and then to your device. I have found this to be extremely frustrating when I think Netflix has gone down or my ISP is having issues when in fact it is Sony's problem.

Netflix needs to address this issue with Sony and get it resolved.