Light Reading

Netflix Shames ISPs

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner

Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) on Thursday published its rankings of the video streaming quality provided by 16 U.S. and four Canadian broadband service providers.

Netflix says it used time-weighted bit-rate metrics to represent the data throughput subscribers get. The company says its top HD streams are served at 4.8 Mbit/s.

Why this matters
Netflix intends to refresh the rankings monthly, offering a snapshot of which ISPs are most adept at delivering HD streams and which ones could use a kick in the pants. The move could, at the very least, irritate telcos and cable broadband providers while emboldening Netflix customers to ask laggard broadband providers for better quality of service.

Cable and net neutrality
Cable high-speed services performed well in the Netflix rankings, taken from October 1, 2010 to Jan. 15, 2011. Charter Communications Inc. was tops with a 2.66Mbit/s average, followed by Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), Cox Communications Inc. , and Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC). Telcos such as Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) and AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) were represented in the second tier, with CenturyTel (now CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL)), Frontier Communications Corp. (NYSE: FTR), and Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR) listed as having the worst streaming quality in the bunch.

US Oh, Canada

But Netflix's rankings are also coming into view as it's linked to a kerfuffle between Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) and Level 3 Communications Inc. (NYSE: LVLT) over peering agreements and delivery fees for traffic shared between content distribution networks and last-mile access networks. That fight was sparked soon after Level 3 notched a deal to carry some of Netflix's traffic over its CDN.

For more

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Jeff Baumgartner
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:14:17 PM
re: Netflix Shames ISPs

Clearwire responded today on its blog, noting it was "jazzed" about its ability to HD streaming via Netflix, but said the report "doesn't tell the full story."   In fact,  it's pretty happy it was ranked at all and that it showed that it was capable of providing HD streams.

 Granted, Clearwire was the only wireless broadband ISP Netflix included in the rankings… but Clearwire likewise acknowledged that "[W]ired networks are simply capable of achieving faster speeds than wireless networks. That's just the nature of these technologies."  So, wired trumps wireless when it comes to streaming... but wires don't help people who need their Netflix fix when they're on the go.


As for the comparison, fair or not, I suppose if Netflix ranked 3G services, they'd barely register. I've tried streaming Netflix using 3G on an ipad... it makes VHS quality look like hi-def.


However, Netflix will be updating these regularly, so it'll be interesting to see how the comparisons change once AT&T, Verizon, and others start to get LTE off the ground. 


I have to agree that Clearwire's got a point… they don’t stand much of a chance against the competition that was listed in the first rankings.  But when Netflix starts comparing WiMax with LTE… that'll be sure to set off a fiery debate.  JB



Jeff Baumgartner
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:13:17 PM
re: Netflix Shames ISPs

The ISP community may get another dose of humility on February 17 when the U.S. Commerce Department will reportedly unveil a map showing which communities are getting broadband, and which ones are coming up short.  

According to the National Journal, the map may prove embarrassing to some major telcos, including AT&T and Verizon,  because it will highlight rural areas that "have been left high and dry"  when it comes to broadband.

The map, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, also comes into play as the FCC  tries to move forward on its ambitious National Broadband Plan, and should give the agency plenty of bulls eyes  at which to point. JB

From The Founder
Steve Saunders provides an overview of white box networking and introduces a new "slim line" version of the OSI 7-layer model.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Wagner’s Ring
The Business Case for Open Source

11|30|15   |     |   (1) comment

Open source helps companies enhance infrastructure, undermine competitors' advantage and teach collaboration. But there are problems.
Between the CEOs
Centec on Ethernet Switching

11|26|15   |   09:58   |   (0) comments

Centec CEO James Sun talks to Steve Saunders about Ethernet switching and the white box revolution.
LRTV Custom TV
Delivering Service Agility in the Virtualization Era

11|25|15   |   5.41   |   (0) comments

Interview with Massimo Fatato, WW OSS Business Lead, Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
Wagner’s Ring
How Might Open Source Fail?

11|24|15   |     |   (10) comments

Open source, SDN, and NFV are looking inevitable – but performance, standards proliferation and regulatory capture could derail the movement.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Lifecycle Orchestration – a Fresh Vision for Telco

11|23|15   |   6.40   |   (0) comments

Simon Osborne, CTO Comptel, and Heavy Reading's Caroline Chappell reveal the business impacts of new SDN and NFV, and what the term service orchestration actually means. Together they define Lifecycle Service Orchestration and how the virtualized future will look for telecoms operators.
Between the CEOs
Cisco's Virtual Role in Saudi

11|20|15   |   12:15   |   (2) comments

Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders talks with Zayan Sadek, Regional Manager at Cisco Systems, about the competitive communications services market and advance of virtualization in Saudi Arabia.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Leads With Kubernetes for Cloud PaaS

11|19|15   |   08:26   |   (0) comments

Huawei is looking to Kubernetes as a key tool for building robust open source technologies for customers and partners, said Ying Xiong, chief architect of cloud platform at Huawei, in an interview with Light Reading West Coast Bureau Chief Mitch Wagner at the recent Kubecon conference.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
WiC in London: The Highlight Reel

11|19|15   |   5:33   |   (1) comment

NetCracker's Mervat El Dabae headlines an inspiring morning in London with help from leading women from Vodafone, TalkTalk, Hyperoptics and Ciena.
LRTV Documentaries
Why Saudi's So Hot for New Tech

11|19|15   |   05:07   |   (0) comments

Light Reading's Steve Saunders reports from Saudi Arabia, a hyper-competitive market desperate to embrace the next generation of communications technologies and services.
LRTV Custom TV
Why Data Models Deliver More Value Than Information Models

11|19|15   |   5.08   |   (0) comments

Stefan Vallin argues that more automation is needed to manage end-to-end services and the hybrid networks they run on, and that data models are key to achieving this.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
SDN Management & Orchestration in the WAN

11|17|15   |   7.20   |   (0) comments

Carol Wilson and Packet Design CTO Cengiz Alaettinoglu discuss CSPs' SDN service delivery and assurance requirements. Learn about a modular approach to building automated control, orchestration and management functions for the WAN that are policy- and analytics-driven.
LRTV Custom TV
Flash Networks: Optimizing for Radio Spectral Efficiency

11|17|15   |   3:34   |   (0) comments

Today most optimization vendors only focus on optimizing voice or data. Ofer Gottfried, Flash Networks' CTO, shows how improving data throughput and maximizing spectral efficiency reduces capital and operating expenses while also providing a platform for user engagement.
Allot MobileTrends Report H2/2015 reveals how daily online behavior can be used to discover smarter ways to profile customers and propose valuable, real-time offers to them.
Hot Topics
Samsung: No Sale of Wireless Unit
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/25/2015
Hong Kong Moments
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 11/26/2015
How Might Open Source Fail?
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 11/24/2015
Facebook in Africa: Beauty or Beast?
Iain Morris, News Editor, 11/27/2015
Cable Gives Thanks for Business Services
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 11/27/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
December 15, 2015
Virtualizing Cable Services
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Centec CEO James Sun talks to Steve Saunders about Ethernet switching and the white box revolution.
Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders talks with Zayan Sadek, Regional Manager at Cisco Systems, about the competitive communications services market and advance of virtualization in Saudi Arabia.
Cats with Phones
Can't Find the Phone on Thanksgiving? Click Here
Check under the cat! (hint: bottom right)
Live Digital Audio

Broadband speeds are ramping up across Europe as the continent, at its own pace, follows North America towards a gigabit society. But there are many steps to take on the road to gigabit broadband availability and a number of technology options that can meet the various requirements of Europe’s high-speed fixed broadband network operators. During this radio show we will look at some of the catalysts for broadband network investments and examine the menu of technology options on offer, including vectoring and for copper plant evolution and the various deployment possibilities for FTTH/B.