Tuesday, March 12, 2013

What 1 Gbps Means for Netflix

Don't get me wrong: where it comes to broadband access speeds, faster is better. But "faster is better" really makes a difference when the entire Internet ecosystem has adapted to faster speeds. 

Changing just one element, such asdding Google Fiber on one end, doesn't buy as much "better experience" as you might think. In February, according to Netflix, its average speed for streamed Netflix content was about 3.35 Mbps on Google Fiber. It ranged in the 2.35 Mbps to 1.25 Mbps range for 17 different large ISPs. 

Right now, 1 Gbps translates into about 1 Mbps better speed, on average, when people use the streaming Netflix service, compared to most other major ISPs. 

But the Google Fiber experience also includes access speeds about twice as fast as some major DSL services. 

RANKCHANGEISP NAMEAVG SPEED (Mbps*)
1GOOGLE FIBER3.35
2CABLEVISION - OPTIMUM2.35
3SUDDENLINK2.19
4+5COX2.12
5VERIZON - FIOS2.10
6-2CHARTER2.08
7-1COMCAST2.06
8-2MEDIACOM2.04
9TIME WARNER CABLE2.04
10BRIGHT HOUSE2.02
11AT&T - U-VERSE1.91
12CENTURYLINK1.68
13WINDSTREAM1.61
14FRONTIER1.54
15AT&T - DSL1.43
16VERIZON - DSL1.37
17CLEARWIRE1.25

1 comment:

Bob said...

Netflix doesn't even encode anything at a genuinely high rate. But that may change. Netflix has committed to operating its own CDN. They will eventually distribute HD programs in 1080p (they claim).

We better do something about low end-to-end throughput into the residence. The consumer's only choice for high image fidelity source today is Bluray. And Bluray seems to be fading away, like video rental stores. What will we use as a source for high quality lean-back entertainment experience on our fancy OLED HDTVs?

And the weakness of the video distribution options becomes even more apparent when one considers 4k content; high-frame-rate films and true 60p 1080 or 4k live content. NHK in Japan has even built an 8k/p60 system. All of these advances will require more BW into the home.

If we don't implement high end-to-end throughput rates into the home, then we lock ourselves out of advances in viewing technology (and lock-in the present day monopolies who maximize profit by prolonging the use of aging last-mile technology).

Ultra-Low Latency Use Cases is Where Most New 5G Apps Will Develop

Though capacity matters, the big use case upside for 5G is expected to come in the area of ultra-low latency applications or perhaps ultra-r...