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Netflix Releases ISP Streaming Quality Report: DSL/Mobile Offer Poor Results

Phillip Dampier December 13, 2012 Broadband Speed, Competition, Online Video, Wireless Broadband No Comments
Cable to Netflix: You better think about going back to the U.S. Post Office and mailing DVDs. Our customers can't afford to throw away their usage allowance on your streamed movies.

Keeping ISPs honest

Netflix may have the most accurate national broadband speed honesty test around, at least when it comes to streaming video. With 30 million members viewing over one billion hours of Netflix streamed content every month, the company is well-positioned to report the real-world performance of virtually every ISP in the country.

Starting this month, Netflix will publish once-monthly surveys of the best and worst-performing providers.

The results from November are not surprising. Fiber to the home offers America’s fastest and most reliable streamed video experience. Google Fiber, with its 1,000Mbps network, topped Netflix’s list, followed by Verizon’s FiOS fiber service.

Cable providers also performed well. Comcast delivered the best Netflix experience, Suddenlink the worst.

AT&T’s U-verse, which isn’t really a true fiber network but simply an extended form of DSL performed markedly poorer than its cable competitors.

DSL providers also performed poorly, ranging from CenturyLink to Verizon’s now neglected DSL. Frontier Communications made some improvements in its rankings. It used to be dead last.

Watching Netflix on mobile broadband proved to be both expensive (with data caps for most) and slow. Clearwire, which only operates a 4G WiMAX network performed the best. Despite the growing prevalence of HSPA+ and LTE 4G service from many other carriers, more common 3G service dragged performance down considerably. Verizon performed the best of the mixed networks, AT&T performed 40% worse than Verizon, coming in dead last.

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  • Friz: well, at least in my area speeds are relatively staying in line with what I would expect over the years at midco the cost jumped from 30 a month for ...
  • Ralph: Frontier seems to be only interested in acquiring other phone companies' properties for the monthly income from subscribers of the phone and internet ...
  • Lee: They will not be the only company that will have problems paying for debt as rates rise and they have to refinance debt....
  • Daniel: My experience with Verizon was CONSISTENTLY HORRIFIC. The sheer incompetence broke my brain. They would screw up everything they possibly could, and s...
  • Josh: Good grief. If they still have money, they HAVE to spend...I mean it's probably too late, but...what on Earth is wrong with these executives? I mean...
  • Paul Houle: The scary thing is that Frontier has a huge cash flow. There are still enough customers that use Frontier because they don't have a choice. "Cable" ...
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  • Dan: The high dividends aren't a problem anymore, but there's probably not enough money to do more than pay off the interest. If they were smart, they'd st...
  • BobInIllinois: Reminder---July 1 2010, Frontier took over Verizon properties in 13 states, including my DSL account in Illinois. Took them 3 months to send me a bi...
  • LG: Same as Christopher's post above. Great work. The longer this goes on, the more I believe regulation and laws alone will not be enough. I'm thinkin...
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