Google Fiber doesn't just provide the best Netflix Inc. experience in the U.S. It's the best in the world, in the eyes of Netflix, anyway.
Following its previous U.S.-centric rankings, Netflix has launched its Global Speed Index, offering a broader view into top ISPs in the U.K., Ireland, Denmark, Finland, Sweden Norway and Mexico, based on the average speed of their Netflix streams. Canada is not yet represented in the rankings but will be added later on, a Netflix spokesperson says.
Google Fiber, at 3.35Mbit/s per average Netflix stream, was tops among nations where Netflix offers subscription streaming services (Netflix notes that its 33 million subscribers are streaming about 1 billion streaming hours per month). Among all ranked ISPs on the Big Blue Marble, Clearwire LLC was at the bottom, with 1.25Mbit/s, just edging out Verizon Communications Inc. DSL's 1.37Mbit/s. (See Netflix Connects With Cablevision.)
As we've mentioned, ISPs have typically ranked higher if they are members of Open Connect, Netflix's private content delivery network (CDN) program. Virgin Media Inc. and BT Group plc, which are both members of Open Connect, were the No. 1 and No. 2 ranked ISPs, respectively, in the U.K. for February. Everything Everywhere Ltd. (EE), which recently launched LTE services, clocked-in at 1.77Mbit/s and was dead last among U.K.-based ISPs. (See EE's LTE Service .)
In the U.S., Google Fiber, Cablevision Systems Corp. and Suddenlink Communications (who are all Open Connect members) kept a hammer lock on the top three spots. Cox Communications Inc. moved up five slots.
Cox didn't come right out and expressly say it's an Open Connect member, but it all but confirmed it with this statement: "Cox has agreements with hundreds of third-party companies in the communications and entertainment industry. Those agreements are proprietary and confidential, and while we are not at liberty to go into any detail, they are all designed to deliver a superior experience with our products and services to our customers. Our customers will be able to watch Super HD movies from Netflix."
Among other domestic movers, Charter Communications Inc. dropped two spots (to No. 6), Comcast Corp. dropped one (to No. 7) and Mediacom Communications Corp. dropped two spots (to No. 8). Verizon FiOS kept its No. 5 ranking. (See Cablevision, Suddenlink Climb Netflix's Rankings.)
Some operators, notably Time Warner Cable Inc., have bristled at Netflix's policy that ISPs must be Open Connect members before subs can gain access the company's Super HD library. Netflix says ISPs can join for free, and this Open Connect Appliance Deployment Guide (PDF) offers a lot more detail about what's involved with installing the pre-configured, 4U-high caching device that's central to the program. (See TW Cable Slams Netflix's 'Super HD' Policy.)
— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable