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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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  • Steve P.: How many people have any real competition for Internet? I know I don't. Certainly not DSL at a fourth the speed....
  • David: I mostly read your blog to hear about item #4. I'm a Frontier customer and their service speed is really poor. I hope that they someday get around to ...
  • Christopher G.: I used to work in the industry for multiple companies. We are the richest country yet one of the lower tiers of speed for internet. Why? Internet c...
  • Joe V: Keep it up Phil. I just wrote a piece to Frontline PBS about the state of broadband duopolies in this country. I hope they read and respond....
  • Dawsonfiberhood: Thanks for the hard work, Phillip. I look forward to each new article you write!...
  • Duncan: Cut the cord today, and used this blog post as inspiration. TWC jacked my bill from $140 to $180, and that was the final straw. Goodbye, TWC, but ...
  • Jimmy Bae: That really isn't the proper use of the term ennui. You can't sooth someone's extreme boredom and disinterest....
  • Martha: What if you say you are going to cancel your cable service for a streaming service, such as Roku or SlingTV? Will they likely to come back with an off...
  • Paul Houle: @Lee, it is worse than that. It is not that they cannot afford to give you fiber, it is that they can already make so much money selling you infe...
  • Lee: Frontier will not deliver that 5 Mbps to me. It will not matter what modem I have or what they have in the dslam located at the school. The copper lin...
  • Paul Houle: @Joe, don't buy the hype over G.Fast. Instead of "Fiber to the Press Release" it is just "Copper to the Press Release" G. Fast is a great techn...
  • Joe V: Here's the irony : I watched the Frontier go in front of California politicians broadcast play out and two things that got underneath my skin : I...

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