The latest figures are out and UPC have jumped to the top of the table. After many months of decline, UPC are now not only the top ISP in Ireland on the index, but also the third fastest in Europe.
With our appetite for high definition video ever increasing and 4K streaming starting to become a reality, the relationship between content providers and ISPs is starting to get strained. The end of Net Neutrality is being heralded and as one of the main content providers, Netflix is right in the the thick of it.
The big question now are who is going to pay for the increased consumption and are some ISPs purposely providing a less than optimum experience. On both counts, it is the end user that takes the hit.
As part of its transparency campaign, Netflix started a small scale test in early May that lets consumers know, while they’re watching Netflix, that their experience is degraded due to a lack of capacity in their broadband provider’s network. Netflix are testing this across the U.S. wherever there is significant and persistent network congestion. This test is scheduled to end on June 16. Netflix will evaluate rolling it out more broadly. As you may have read, some of the ISPs in the U.S. are not pleased with this approach.
Joris Evers from Netflix said “Some broadband providers argue that our actions, and not theirs, are causing a degraded Netflix experience. Netflix does not purposely select congested routes. We pay some of the world’s largest transit networks to deliver Netflix video right to the front door of an ISP. Where the problem occurs is at that door — the interconnection point — when the broadband provider hasn’t provided enough capacity to accommodate the traffic their customer requested.
Some large US ISPs are erecting toll booths, providing sufficient capacity for services requested by their subscribers to flow through only when those services pay the toll. In this way, ISPs are double-dipping by getting both their subscribers and Internet content providers to pay for access to each other. We believe these ISP tolls are wrong because they raise costs, stifle innovation and harm consumers. ISPs should provide sufficient capacity into their network to provide consumers the broadband experience for which they pay.”
The Netflix ISP Speed Index is based on data from the more than 48 million Netflix members worldwide who view over 1 billion hours of TV shows and movies streaming from Netflix each month. The listed speeds reflect the average performance of all Netflix streams on each ISP’s network and are an indicator of the performance typically experienced across all users on an ISP network. A faster network generally means a better picture quality, quicker start times and fewer interruptions.
The average performance is below the peak performance due to many factors including the variety of encodes Netflix uses to deliver the TV shows and movies as well as the variety of devices members use and home network conditions. These factors cancel out when comparing across ISPs.