Verizon, Comcast, Charter top Netflix rankings of fastest ISPs

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Verizon's (NYSE: VZ) FiOS Internet, Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) and Charter Communications (Nasdaq: CHTR) are the fastest national broadband providers when it comes to delivering Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) video streams to subscribers, the online video provider said Tuesday.

Netflix ISP leaderboard 2012

Netflix's top 10 ISPs. Click here for the complete leaderboard. (Source: Netflix)

Google Fiber topped Netflix's initial ranking of ISPs. While Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) has said that it would deliver download speeds in Kansas City of up to 1 Gigabit per second, the new wideband service averaged just 2.55 Mbps in its delivery of Netflix content in November.

FiOS Internet placed second, averaging 2.19 Mbps in its delivery of Netflix streams, while Comcast and Charter each averaged 2.17 Mbps, according to Netflix.

Cablevision's (NYSE: CVC) Optimum Online took fifth place, averaging 2.15 Mbps. It was followed by Mediacom (2.14 Mbps), and Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) and Bright House Networks, which both averaged 2.12 Mbps. Also making the Netflix rankings were Cox Communications (2.07 Mbps); Suddenlink (2.06); AT&T's (NYSE: T) U-verse Internet (1.94); CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) (1.69); Windstream (1.61); and Frontier (Nasdaq: FTR) (1.49).

The speeds delivered by the broadband providers are well below their peak performance because of a number of factors, including the capability of home WiFi networks and content encoding schemes, Netflix VP of content delivery Ken Florance wrote in a blog post Tuesday. "The relative ranking, however, should be an accurate indicator of relative bandwidth typically experienced across all users, homes, and applications," he added.

Netflix said it plans to release monthly reports that track the performance of its video streams from broadband providers. While the Netflix rankings aren't as important as the FCC's annual "Measuring Broadband America" reports, the monthly reports could allow cable operators and their broadband rivals to use the data to market high-speed services to Netflix users. The reports also signal that Netflix, which has been a strong supporter of the FCC's network neutrality rules, is looking to ensure that ISPs don't throttle Netflix streams.

For more:
- see the Netflix blog post

Related articles:
Verizon, Cablevision top FCC Measuring Broadband America Report
Verizon, Midcontinent ranked fastest ISPs by PC Magazine
FCC to study data caps, and may raise broadband speed threshold

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