Why Netflix claims AT&T’s fiber service is even slower than DSL

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Comcast provides a much improved Netflix experience

Netflix (NFLX) depends quite a lot on Internet service providers’ performance to deliver quality videos to its customers. To gauge the effectiveness of Internet service providers speeds, Netflix came up with an ISP index. As shown in the below chart, Comcast (CMCSA) jumped six positions to reach fifth rank, while AT&T’s (T) fiber-based U-Verse maintained its position at 12th rank. Netflix believes Comcast is providing a much improved Netflix experience to its broadband subscribers, and now nearly all cable Internet households receive great-quality Internet video. However, the surprising news is that AT&T’s U-Verse performs worse than many DSL ISPs, such as Frontier (FTR), CenturyLink (CTL), and Windstream.

ISP Speed Index

Netflix and AT&T continue to fight over net neutrality

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In a blog post, Netflix claims, “The essence of net neutrality is that ISPs such as AT&T and Comcast don’t restrict, influence or otherwise meddle with the choices consumers make. Strong net neutrality additionally prevents ISPs from charging a toll for interconnection to services like Netflix, YouTube, or Skype, or intermediaries such as Cogent, Akamai or Level 3, to deliver the services and data requested by ISP residential subscribers. Instead, they must provide sufficient access to their network without charge.”

However, AT&T responded on its own blog post by saying that ISPs have to build additional capacity to cater to the additional traffic generated by Netflix. So AT&T charging an interconnection fee to Netflix is justified.

AT&T’s blog post comments show that customers expect better service from AT&T

In a reaction to AT&T’s blog post, Netflix indicated that customers aren’t happy with AT&T’s Internet service. Netflix mentions, “The 249 customer comments on AT&T’s anti-Netflix blog post indicate that AT&T customers expect a good quality Netflix experience given how much they pay AT&T for their Internet service. It is free and easy for AT&T to interconnect directly with Netflix and quickly improve their customers’ experience, should AT&T so desire.”

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