Netflix ranks the fastest Internet providers
Google Fiber wins despite only serving two cities while DSL and wireless services get a scolding.
Netflix (NFLX) is tracking the fastest Internet speeds in the U.S. and, unless you live in one of two favored cities near the center of the country, there's no way your service provider is No. 1.
The streaming video and DVD-by-mail service kicked off its monthly ranking of Internet service providers with a blog entry on Tuesday. Netflix's stated purpose for this rankings is helping customers avoid the red status bar of doom that accompanies slow connections and interrupts streaming, but for many customers it just points out the shortcomings of what's often their only available Internet option.
"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," Ken Florance, vice president of content delivery, wrote it the blog post.
There's just one tiny problem with Netflix's list: Just about no one gets Google Fiber. The service is also only available in Kansas City, Mo., and Kansas City, Kan., and only to about 161,000 potential subscribers in the 202 "fiberhoods" Google has carved out of its coverage areas. According to GigaOM, roughly 21,000 signed up for the service before Google's registration deadline in September. By comparison, Verizon FiOS is in more than 17 million homes nationwide despite being restricted largely to urban areas with lots of fiber-optic cable.
This alludes to yet another issue with the Netflix rankings. The speedy Internet service of No. 3 Comcast (CMCSA) (2.17 MBPS), No. 4 Charter (CHTR) (2.17 MBPS), No. 5 Cablevision (CVC) (2.15 MBPS) and even Time Warner Cable (TWC) (2.12) and Cox (2.07) at Nos. 7 and 9 is all based in fiber-optic infrastructure. That's great for most city dwellers and folks in outlying suburbs, but if you can't see your mailbox from your front porch and have to truck your garbage and recycling to the foot of your driveway, chances are you're not getting these services.
"Broadly, cable shows better than DSL," Florance writes.
That's great, but when a viewer's Internet option is carried over a phone line or through a wireless network, they're relegated to pixelated, second-class citizenship by Netflix, Hulu, Wal-Mart's (WMT) Vudu and other services that stream in high definition. Verizon customers in Boston, for example, can't get FiOS because Verizon doesn't have any fiber-optic cable of its own in a largely Comcast town. If Internet users there want Verizon service, they're stuck with Verizon's pokey DSL offering that, at 1.37 MBPS, is 41% slower than FiOS.
Even AT&T (T) U-verse, which is a combination of fiber and DSL service, is still 11% slower than Verizon FiOS, according to Netflix's data. Downgrade to the 4G WiMax wireless Internet service offered by recent Sprint acquisition Clearwire (1.19 MBPS), and you're operating at less than half of Verizon or Google's speed.
Netflix's new rankings exist to flog Internet service providers into quickening the pace and opening up the broadband pipeline. If they don't shrink the disparity between urban subscribers and their more remote counterparts, then Netflix is basically warning DSL and wireless customers away from its service. That's no way to get folks to watch all that Netflix content that's putting the company nearly $5 billion in debt.
More from Money Now
MB/sec is Mega BYTES per second. Mb/sec is Mega BITS per second. Big difference betwee 2 MB/sec and 2 Mb/sec.
Copyright © 2013 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Quotes are real-time for NASDAQ, NYSE and AMEX. See delay times for other exchanges.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Thomson Reuters (click for restrictions). Real-time quotes provided by BATS Exchange. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Interactive Data Real-Time Services. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by SIX Financial Information.
More than 8,000 households got hit with the one-time levy as Socialist President Francois Hollande continues to target the nation's wealthiest.
- Farmers cultivate drones as new high-tech tool
- Apple's overseas hoard unfair to taxpayers
- Why hugely profitable ESPN is laying off workers
- Tornado shelters become a vital business
- Victoria's Secret won't sell cancer 'survivor' bras
- DC is doing nothing to fix the economy
- Models have it easier getting into US than engineers
- Bernie Madoff earns sweatshop wages in prison
- Motor home sales rise in hopeful economic sign
[BRIEFING.COM] Stocks ended modestly higher as the S&P 500 climbed 0.2%, and the Dow added 0.4% to register its 19th consecutive Tuesday of gains.
The major averages saw little change during morning action, but afternoon buying interest helped lift the indices to session highs. Most cyclical sectors (with the exception of materials and technology) finished among the leaders, but the defensively-geared health care sector settled atop the leaderboard as biotechnology outperformed. ... More
More Market News
The auto parts giant beats Wall Street expectations, while continuing to expand its stores in the U.S. and Mexico.