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Pay to Play Smoothly: Netflix, Time Warner reach agreement to raise speeds

Image used with permission by copyright holder
Becoming the last of the big four Internet service providers in the United States to cut a deal with Netflix, Time Warner confirmed today that the company has reached a paid peering agreement with the streaming media company. While the details of the deal were finalized during June, the actual upgrades have started rolling out this month. This means Time Warner Cable customers will soon see a difference in the average streaming speed when watching television shows and movies on Netflix. This change was first noticed by Gigaom when viewing the traceroute of a Netflix data signal. That signal when directly to Time Warner data centers rather than the older, slower route.

While Netflix CEO Reed Hastings is vehemently opposed to these interconnection fees, Netflix has relented over the last several months inking deals with Comcast, Verizon and AT&TWhen looking at the Netflix Speed Index, average streaming speeds for Time Warner customers weren’t as awful as Comcast prior to that interconnection deal. However, it appears as if average Netflix streaming speeds for Time Warner customers dropped by about 15 percent as the new deal was being signed in June. Since the Comcast deal, the average streaming speed has nearly doubled since an all time low of 1.51MBS during January 2014.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Interestingly, companies like Comcast and Time Warner have been extremely slow to put together this type of deal to the detriment of subscribers. In addition, Verizon has still been having difficulties raising speeds despite the deal in place to directly connect with Netflix servers.

Alternatively, companies like Cox and Cablevision have done nothing but flourish as early partners with Netflix. Average streaming speeds started strong and have only improved over time to averaging more than 3MBS as of late. Of course, Google Fiber continues to dominate all other U.S. companies on the list when it comes to speed. However, the small footprint of Google Fiber within the U.S. hasn’t allowed many Netflix subscribers to take advantage of those fast streaming speeds.

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Mike Flacy
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