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Grande, Midcontinent, FiOS Top Netflix ISP Rankings

Verizon FiOS and Cox Communications stayed atop Netflix’s ISP Speed Index for December 2015 among major U.S. ISPs, while Grande Communications retained the crown when smaller ISPs were factored in.

Among majors measured by Netflix, Verizon FiOS averaged Netflix streaming speeds of 3.89 Mbps during primetime in December 2015, according to the OTT provider, up from 3.83 Mbps in the month prior.

Cox (3.82 Mbps) followed, as Cablevision Systems hopped one spot, to number three, trading spots with Bright House. Charter Communications (No. 6) and Mediacom Communications (No. 7) also rose one spot, as Time Warner Cable dropped two spots, to number eight on the Netflix rankings.

The bottom three among U.S. majors were Windstream (2.50 Mbps), Verizon DSL (2.13 Mbps) and CenturyLink (1.95 Mbps).

With smaller ISPs included,  Grande Communications led with an average of 3.96 Mbps, followed closely by Midcontinent Communications (3.93 Mbps), Verizon FiOS and EPB (both 3.89 Mbps), Google Fiber (3.88 Mbps), WideOpenWest (3.86 Mbps) and RCN (3.84 Mbps).

Given the closeness between providers, the rankings provide bragging rights, though Netflix had earlier used them to shine the light on the average (usually, lower) Netflix speeds provided by ISPs that were not part of its Open Connect CDN program.   Since then, a handful of major U.S. ISPs, including AT&T, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Verizon, have signed paid interconnection deals with Netflix. Bright House is benefiting from the TWC deal.  Notably, Charter Communications has pledged to extend its  "settlement-free" interconnection policy to systems it’s trying to acquire from TWC and Bright House, a decision that is supported by Netflix.

On a country-by-country basis, Luxembourg led with a 4.12 Mbps average in December, followed by Belgium (4.07 Mbps), Netherlands (4.02 Mbps), Denmark (3.97 Mbps), and Sweden (3.96 Mbps). The U.S. (3.45 Mbps) was ranked 16th among countries that were measured by Netflix in its December 2015 rankings.

At last week’s CES, Netflix announced it had expanded service to 130 additional countries.