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Netflix: Google Fiber the Fastest ISP in the U.S.

12 Dec, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Good news if you live in the Kansas City metropolitan area: Netflix said Google Fiber’s 1 gigabyte Internet service — which is in limited launch in the region — is the fastest Internet Service Provider (ISP) in the United States at 2.55 Mbps.

Netflix, which tracks some of the highest Internet traffic during peak hours, posted a list of fastest ISPs based on their performance delivering the subscription video-on-demand’s streaming content in November. Netflix plans to release a monthly ranking on domestic ISP speed trials.

“Our 30 million members view [more than] 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, VP of content delivery, wrote in a blog post

Other top speed ISPs included Verizon's FiOS service at No. 2 with 2.19 Mbps, followed by Comcast and Charter at 2.17 Mbps.

Rounding out the Top 10 were Cablevision (2.17 Mbps), Mediacom (2.14 Mbps), Time Warner Cable (2.12 Mbps), Brighthouse (2.12 Mbps), Cox (2.07 Mbps) and Suddenlink (2.06 Mbps).

Florance said cable ISP typically is faster than DSL, while AT&T U-verse (1.94 Mbps), which is a hybrid fiber-DSL service, is significantly slower than Verizon Fios, which is pure fiber. He said Charter’s ISP speed has dropped two positions since October.

Notably, Verizon mobile (0.76 Mbps) was 40% faster than AT&T mobile (0.48 Mbps), underscoring the fact that video streaming on smartphones is not an ideal experience, compared with alternative channels.

Florance said the average ISP speed is well-below the oft-advertised peak performance due to a variety of factors, including home Wi-Fi, connected devices and types of encodes. The latter is the process of putting a sequence of characters (letters, numbers, punctuation, symbols, etc.) into a specialized format for transmission or storage.

“The relative ranking, however, should be an accurate indicator of relative bandwidth typically experienced across all users, homes and applications,” he wrote.

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