AT&T, Verizon Rise In Netflix Rankings

AT&T and Verizon Communications both made significant jumps in Netflix’s ISP Speed Index for August, delivering higher-quality Netflix streams following recent paid interconnection deals between the ISPs and the OTT video giant.

Those gains helped to push the U.S. average speed, as ranked by Netflix, to 2.57 Mbps in August, versus 2.23 Mbps in July, putting the U.S. in 11th place among countries tracked by the streaming service. The Netherlands (3.63 Mbps average) remained the top country, according to Netflix, which has been urging the FCC to include paid peering deals in its vetting of new network neutrality rules and has thrown its weight behind the symbolic Internet Slowdown Day protest slated for September 10.

Among the 16 major U.S. ISPs ranked by Netflix, AT&T U-verse leaped seven spots, to No. 7 on the list, delivering an average Netflix streaming speed during primetime hours of 2.61 Mbps, up from 1.44 Mbps in July. AT&T DSL, meanwhile, hopped two spots, to No. 13, with an average of 1.81 Mbps, up from 1.11 Mbps in July.

Verizon FiOS’s average of 2.41 Mbps for August enabled it to climb two spots, to No. 10, beating its July average of 1.61 Mbps. Verizon DSL averaged 1.31 Mbps for August (versus 970 kbps in July), but still finished last among the large U.S. ISPs as viewed through Netflix’s prism.

Other ISPs also gained. Comcast, which announced its interconnection deal with Netflix in February, rose one spot, to No. 4, swapping places with Charter Communications.

Mediacom Communications, which uses a “transparent” caching system from Qwilt in lieu of Open Connect, a private CDN program that uses Netflix-supplied edge caches, gained two spots, to No. 6.

Several other ISPs lost ground in the rankings, even though some produced better results versus the previous month.

Fresh off an interconnection deal with Netflix announced last month, Time Warner Cable averaged 2.59 Mbps in August, up from 2.16 Mbps in July, but still dropped two spots, to No. 8.

Bright House Networks, Frontier, Windstream, and Clearwire all dropped two spots, and CenturyLink fell three spots.

The top three -- Cablevision Systems, Cox Communications and Suddenlink Communications – finished in the same order as they did in July.

Google Fiber (3.53 Mbps) retained the crown for Netflix’s expanded U.S. ISP rankings.