Netflix streaming speeds plummet on FiOS despite Verizon denial


According to the latest Netflix ISP speed index for the United States, the average streaming speed on Verizon FiOS has dropped to its lowest point in the last 15 months. Topping out at an average speed of 2.22 Mbps just three months ago, average streaming speed for Netflix subscribers during January 2014 has plummeted by nearly 20 percent down to an average of 1.82 Mbps. That speed just barely tops the national average of 1.78 Mbps and it’s the first time that FiOS users have dropped below an average of 2 Mbps. In addition, Verizon DSL speeds have also been dropping, 1.42 Mbps during September 2013 down to 0.97 Mbps during January 2014.

Of course, this data was released just a few days after a Texas software engineer published a blog post about Verizon supposedly throttling his connection to Amazon Web Services, the service that powers Netflix Instant. Following that post, Verizon representatives released a statement denying the claim and alluding to the fact that it could have been an issue with Netflix. However, the blogger, David Raphael, indicated that he immediately tried out Netflix on an ISP other than FiOS and it worked perfectly without any quality degradation. 

verizon-fios-netflix streaming speed

It’s likely that Netflix subscribers could seek out service alternatives to Verizon FiOS if the average streaming speed continues to degrade over time. However, Verizon isn’t alone on the charts. Comcast speeds have also taken a nose dive over the last 4 months dropping from over 2 Mbps down to around 1.5 Mbps. Conversely, the average streaming speeds for Google Fiber users have been on a tear as of late hitting a national best of 3.78 Mbps. Other quality ISPs for Netflix include COX, Cablevision/Optimum and Suddenlink. Services like Time Warner and Charter haven’t really moved in either direction significantly. 

If these average speeds seem somewhat slow, it’s likely because the majority of broadband subscribers are likely on less expensive plans. However, these speeds definitely show off a trend in how service providers are handling the stress of streaming video. According to Netflix’s Internet Connection Speed Recommendations page, 3 megabits per second is recommended for DVD quality, 5 megabits for HD quality, 7 megabits for super HD (1080p) quality and 12 megabits for 3D quality. In addition, future 4K streams will require a minimum of 15 megabits per second. 

fios van

It’s also possible that Netflix streaming speeds are suffering on services like Verizon and Comcast because neither company has joined Netflix’s Open Connect program. This program places servers with popular content in the vicinity of large batches of ISP subscribers, thus reducing queue times when pulling up a new video. According to Netflix, this is particularly effective during peak times when watching streaming video is most popular since the video is cached.

Another potential cause for the decreased speeds is a greater stress on Netflix’s network due to the availability of Super HD and 3D content. Without Open Connect, Verizon customers have to wait longer times to pull up that high definition content. In any case, Verizon FiOS customers should be wary of any particular quality issues when streaming Netflix Instant in the coming months. 

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: 1-handed drone control, a pot that stirs itself

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Our favorite Windows apps will help you get the most out of your new PC

Not sure what apps you should be downloading for your newfangled Windows device? Here are the best Windows apps, whether you need something to speed up your machine or access your Netflix queue. Check out our categories and favorite picks.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'The Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘The Good Place’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in November, from 'The Witch’ to ‘Dracula’

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Movies & TV

Disney+ streaming service gets a new name, logo, and more confirmed content

Disney is bringing the full weight of its massive content library to its own streaming service in 2019. How will Disney+ compare to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime? Here's what we know so far.
Movies & TV

Out of movies to binge? Our staff picks the best flicks on Hulu right now

From classics to blockbusters, Hulu offers some great films to its subscribers. Check out the best movies on Hulu, whether you're into charming adventure tales or gruesome horror stories.
Product Review

Cut cable and keep quality with TiVo's 4K-friendly Bolt OTA DVR

Free over-the-air programming isn’t available in 4K, so why would you want a 4K OTA DVR? We’ll discuss what makes the new TiVo Bolt OTA a viable choice for cord-cutters with 4K UHD TVs who want to get ahead of the game.

Here are the best 4K TV deals for November 2018

There's no doubt that a good 4K smart TV is the best way to take your home entertainment setup to the next level to enjoy all your favorite shows, movies, and games in glorious Ultra HD. We've got the best 4K TV deals right here.
Movies & TV

The best new movie trailers: ‘Buster Scruggs,’ ‘Missing Link,’ ‘Mowgli’ and more

Everyone loves a good trailer, but keeping up with what's new isn't easy. That's why we round up the best ones for you. This week, it's new trailers for The Ballad of Buster Scruggs and Mortal Engines, and the first trailer for Missing…
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (November 2018)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Movies & TV

Best new shows and movies to stream: ‘Room 104,’ German thriller ‘Beat,’ and more

Need something to watch this weekend? Check out our list of the best new shows and movies to stream right now. On the list this week: Room 104 returns for a second season, Robert the Bruce fights for Scotland's throne, and more.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Home Theater

LG price cuts on C8 OLED TVs for Black Friday are more of a sliver than a slash

LG cut prices on its vaunted C8 series OLED TVs, but the deals aren't as good as last year, and therefore are less compelling. Still, if you're in the market for a new TV this year, we still suggest giving these deals a serious look.

Black Friday 2018: The best deals so far

Black Friday is the biggest shopping holiday of the year, and it will be here before you know it. If you can't wait until November 23 to start formulating a shopping plan, we've got you covered.