Skip to main content

Netflix lists the best and worst ISPs for streaming movies

It’s no secret that tension is brewing between streaming services like Netflix and Internet Service Providers (ISPs). A couple months back, Comcast even began charging a partner of Netflix called Level 3 to use its bandwidth. Streaming services use a lot of bandwidth and ISPs don’t like it. Unfortunately, the times, they are changing, and customers are demanding more and more streaming video.

In a blog post yesterday, Netflix called them out, claiming that no major ISP in the United States or Canada is capable of sustaining a 4,800 kilobits per second stream for the duration of a film–4,800 Kb/s is Netflix’s highest HD offering. More stunning: the company actually created a chart of 15 major ISPs and showed us exactly who is the fastest and best, effectively calling out underperforming ISPs by name. The graphs are below.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

In the U.S. the best ISP for streaming is Charter. The company averaged 2,667 Kb/s. Looking at the graph, Comcast appears to come in second, followed by Cox, Time Warner, Suddenlink, Cablevision, and Cable One, which all logged more than 2,200-2,600 Kb/s. In the 1,800-2,200 Kb/s range, Verizon takes the lead, followed by AT&T, Bellsouth, Windstream, Embarq, and Qwest. Finally, on the bottom of the totem poll, at 1,400-1,600, are CenturyTel, Frontier, and Clearwire.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

There are only four Canadian ISPs, but they rank as follows: Rogers gets the top spot with a 3,020 Kb/s average streaming speed, followed by Shaw, Bell Canada, and Telus. All Canadian carriers rank on the high end of U.S. bandwidth averages.

The above graphs were calculated from Oct. 1, 2010 to Jan. 15, 2011. Netflix director of content delivery, Ken Florance, claims that the company will update the charts once a month.

You may be wondering: how does Netflix know these numbers? Well, the company attempts to deliver the highest quality video it can over a network at any given time, but if a subscriber’s available bandwidth drops below a certain threshold, Netflix automatically bumps down the video quality so that it can continue to stream at lower Internet speeds.

Jeffrey Van Camp
Former Digital Trends Contributor
As DT's Deputy Editor, Jeff helps oversee editorial operations at Digital Trends. Previously, he ran the site's…
What to do if the Wi-Fi option isn’t showing in Windows 11
Missing Wi-Fi icon in Windows 11.

A missing Wi-Fi icon can make getting online a bit tricky. If your PC or laptop definitely has a Wi-Fi receiver connected, or has built-in Wi-Fi and it's not giving you the option of turning it on, you've got a Wi-Fi problem we'll need to fix. There are a few different causes for this problem, so there are a few potential fixes, too.

Here's how to fix your missing Wi-Fi icon so you can get back online.

Read more
This Dell G15 gaming laptop is normally $1,050 — today it’s $750
Dell G15 (2023) sitting on a coffee table.

It seems that more and more video games are getting PC releases these days, and we’re all about that! But when you’re buying a laptop with the intention of using it exclusively for MMORPGs and other graphically demanding genres, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting a machine that’s built to perform for at least the next several years. Fortunately, Dell laptop deals tend to be a great way to save some cash while investing in a powerful gaming setup.

Right now, you can purchase the Dell G15 Gaming Laptop for just $750. That’s $300 off its normal price, and this is no lackluster laptop folks.

Read more
This Alienware gaming laptop with RTX 4050 is $600 off
Alienware x14 R2

Gaming PC deals aren’t the kind of promotions you buy into simply because of the savings. Depending on your actual gameplay needs, you may require a machine that’s far more powerful than traditional gaming PCs. Or maybe you tend to stick to titles that require less performance capabilities.

Whatever the case may be, we felt it important to shine a light on this great Dell sale. Right now, you can take home the Alienware x14 R2 Gaming Laptop for just $1,200. You’ll save $600 off the laptop’s normal price, and you'll own a fast and efficient PC powerhouse from one of the most trusted names in the business.

Read more