Watching Netflix relies on a fast enough streaming speed, or quality degradation and buffering start kicking in. This lessens the streaming experience and often results in consumers blaming Netflix rather than the real culprit – Their internet service provider (ISP).
The problem is that Netflix customers use up a high amount of bandwidth and some ISP providers either throttle the service and slow down connection speeds, or even give users an allowance cap, that when reached needs extra payment to continue.
Netflix have been naming and shaming individual ISP’s on their blog in the past. But now they have upped the ante, and started taking this issue more seriously by launching the Netflix ISP Speed Index website.
The website gives viewers a monthly updated list showing the top ISP speed rankings, and whether an ISP has improved or gone down from the previous reading.
Although the bitrate speed is important, there are many other factors that can impact on the streaming speed. The speed of the Wi-Fi network used, and the speed of the device rendering video images will also affect the quality.
Additionally, standard definition video will run a lot quicker than HD, or god forbid 3D streaming. It is still an interesting and useful service which can be used by Netflix users around the world. Currently supported are ISP provider readings in the US, UK, Ireland, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Mexico, Norway, and Sweden.