Mediacom, Frontier Communications and CenturyLink gained the most ground while Bright House Networks and Comcast lost the most in Netflix’s December ISP Speed Index, the over-the-top video service provider’s monthly rankings of ISP streaming performance during primetime.
The top seven U.S. ISPs were unchanged versus Netflix’s ISPs rankings, with Google Fiber and its average Netflix streaming speed of 3.69 Mbps staying ahead of Cablevision Systems (2.85 Mbps), Cox Communications (2.62 Mbps), Suddenlink Communications (2.54 Mbps), Charter Communications (2.30 Mbps), Verizon FiOS (2.11 Mbps) and Time Warner Cable (2.02 Mbps).
Several of Netflix’s top performers, including Google Fiber Cablevision and Cox, and Suddenlink, are members of OpenConnect, Netflix’s private content delivery network that relies on free specialized edge caches. Under a new policy installed last September, Netflix now offers its slate of Super HD to all of its streaming customers. It previously limited access to subs who got broadband from ISPs that were members of OpenConnect.
Notably, Mediacom Communications, which uses a “transparent” caching system from Qwilt, gained the most ground, rising three spots, to number eight, in the Netflix rankings. Other month-over-month gainers included AT&T (one spot), Frontier (three spots), Windstream (one spot) and Centurylink (two spots).
Bright House and Comcast each dropped five spots, to number 13 and number 14, respectively, in the Netflix rankings. Verizon DSL also dropped one spot, to number 16, beating only Clearwire, which remains the only U.S. wireless broadband provider measured by Netflix for streaming quality.
In a blog detailing the December results, Netflix director of corporate communications Joris Evers noted that streaming performance was up in all countries for the month, except for the U.S. and Mexico.
According to Netflix’s country-by-country rankings, the Netherlands, with an average of 2.35 Mbps, was tops, followed by Denmark, Sweden, the U.K., and Norway. The U.S., Ireland, and Mexico brought up the rear. Netflix currently does not factor Canada into its ISP Speed Index.
Netflix said its ISP Speed Index is based on data from more than 40 million subscribers who stream over 1 billion hours of Netflix content each month. Sandvine, a bandwidth management firm that works with Comcast and other ISPs measured by Netflix, has argued that the index offers an “over-simplified” view Internet quality.