WASHINGTON, February 7, 2011 - Online content providers Netflix and Akamai released data recently indicating that U.S. internet service providers meet expectations for promised peak broadband speeds, but fall short when it comes to sustained speeds.
Netflix, which offers streaming video on-demand, released data and charts last month through its blog. The company evaluated sustained downloads as part of its high definition streaming service specific to Internet Service Providers (ISP)s.
According to its data, no ISP in the U.S. sustains Netflix’ ideal speeds for sustained picture quality - but they come close. The company requires streaming service user to have an internet connection that has a speed of 1.5 Mbps, with a faster 3 Mbps being more ideal.
The online movie provider's top high-definition stream requires about 4.8 Mbps of bandwidth, although the actual bit rate for the stream would vary while viewing video from the service. For slower connections image quality is scaled back making sustained bandwidth an important measure when watching a video stream.
Netflix filtered data for the report to only contain titles that had high definition video streams and devices capable of playing back in these streams (wireless networks were excluded). The results show that most ISPs average well above the minimum requirement bandwidth, Cable modem services appear to be better than most digital subscriber line (DSL) connections for supporting high-definition video streams as cable provider, Charter, led the way, followed by Comcast, Cox, and Time-Warner. Notably, no distinction was made in the report between Verizon’s Fiber optic network and its DSL offerings, they were presented as a single ISP.
None of the U.S. ISPs were close to their Canadian counterparts, where Netflix has recently begun offering it’s service. Rogers Communications, one of the largest ISPs in Canada, averaged sustained speeds of more than 3 Mbps and all other Canadian providers except Telus averaged well above a 2.5 Mbps average.
Akamai is a global company that provides faster content delivery by placing servers around the world mirroring client content. Akamai releases a quarterly State of the Internet report, based on user visits from around the world in the third quarter of 2010.
According to Akamai’s findings, about one-thirds of U.S. Internet connections are faster than 5 Mbps, putting the United States ninth in the world. Worldwide, nearly a quarter of Internet connections are 5 Mbps or greater, with most of those connections in Asia and Northern Europe. The United States ranked lower in providing connections greater than 2 Mbps. Although three quarters of U.S. connections reach this threshold, it was behind smaller countries such as Monaco, Tunisia and the Isle of Man, where 95 percent of users access the Web at speeds exceeding 2 Mbps speeds.
The Netflix report may suggest that ISPs do not live up to their claimed speeds, however this is difficult to assess as ISPs tend to advertise their speeds as “up to” and not as a sustained number. Ookla, the owner of Speedtest.net and Pingtest.net, provides statistics that show that the promised peak speeds are avaible. Ookla rates US users peak speeds at 93 percent of advertised headline speeds based on over 1.5 billion tests compiled on their sites.
- Breakfast Media Minute: July 10, 2020
- Metrics and Automation Can Improve Federal Cybersecurity Measures
- Federal Communications Commission Must Reconsider Ligado Offer, Says Former Commissioner
- Georgia’s State-led Mapping Initiative, D.C. Has Fastest Mobile Speeds, Coalition to Fight Digital Divide
- Algorithms Can Assist With the ‘Infodemic’, But Have Limitations, Says Center for Data Innovation
Signup for Broadband Breakfast
Fiber1 month ago
Fiber Networks Hold a Cybersecurity Advantage Over Rival Co-Axial and Wireless Technologies, Say Panelists
Artificial Intelligence3 weeks ago
Brookings Panelists Emphasize Importance of Addressing Biases in Artificial Intelligence Technology
Artificial Intelligence1 week ago
U.S. State Department Employing Artificial Intelligence Against COVID-19 Misinformation
Congress1 month ago
Partisan Disagreement Delays Broadband Funding That Might Come Through HEROES Act
Broadband Roundup1 week ago
Artificial Intelligence Task Force, State Cybersecurity, ADTRAN Offers Rural Funding Guidance
#broadbandlive3 weeks ago
Broadband Breakfast Live Online on Wednesday, June 17, 2020 – Federal Broadband Funds and Opportunity Zones
Expert Opinion1 month ago
Gary Bolton: Under the Stress of COVID-19, the Networks That Held Fast Were Symmetrical Fiber Broadband
Education2 weeks ago
A Mix of Resources and Technologies Are Needed to Close the Homework Gap