Netflix Names Google Fiber Fastest ISP In November
December 12, 2012

Google Fiber Named Fastest In Netflix November ISP Rankings

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online

Netflix released on Tuesday a list of the nation's fastest Internet service providers for the month of November, with Google´s new fiber optic network topping the list.

Google Fiber is now the most consistently fast ISP in America, according to actual user experience on Netflix streams in November,” wrote Netflix's vice president of content delivery, Ken Florance, in a blog posting.

"Our 30 million members view over 1 billion hours of Netflix per month, so we have very reliable data for consumers to compare ISPs in terms of real world performance,” he said.

The announcement was the first in a new series of monthly ratings by Netflix of top U.S. ISPs based on streaming speed.

“Starting today, we´ll publish monthly rankings of major ISPs based upon their actual performance across all Netflix streams,” Florance said.

Netflix said Google Fiber, which currently offers service only in Kansas City, KS, had an average download speed of 2.55 Megabits per second (Mbps) last month, 16% faster than No. 2 Verizon FiOS, which averaged 2.19 Mbps, and 18% faster than No. 3 Comcast, which averaged 2.17 Mbps.

Charter and Cablevision rounded out the top five, with speeds of 2.17 Mbps and 2.15 Mbps, respectively.

These download speeds are only relevant to Netflix's streams, which are capped at 4 Mbps.

Google's fiber service currently advertises a maximum download speed of 1,000 Mbps, while Verizon FiOS has a top speed of 300 Mbps.

However, “the average performance is well below the peak performance due to a variety of factors, including home Wi-Fi, a variety of devices, and a variety of encodes,” Florance explained.

But the overall rankings should serve as an “accurate indicator of relative bandwidth typically experienced across all users, homes, and applications,” he said.

In general, fiber-based broadband services were the fastest in Netflix's test, followed by traditional broadband and DSL service.

“Broadly, cable shows better than DSL,” Florance said.

AT&T U-verse, which is a hybrid fiber-DSL service, shows quite poorly compared to Verizon FiOS, which is pure fiber.”

The performance of 4G and 3G wireless networks lagged behind wireline connections in terms of streaming Netflix content. Of the top four U.S. wireless providers, Verizon Wireless was the fastest at 0.76 Mbps, followed by T-Mobile at 0.64 Mbps, Sprint at 0.56 Mbps and AT&T at 0.48 Mbps, Netflix said.