Broadband speeds boost Netflix streaming

ByAnthony Hill

Netflix gives the average user a 15% better movie streaming experience than it would have six months ago, as the rise of superfast broadband reinvents home entertainment.

Film service Netflix has seen a steady improvement in streaming performance this year, helped by the fact superfast broadband is now being used by one in five households.

The latest Netflix Speed Index, a monthly report on which of the major UK providers delivers the fastest broadband for streaming, found all six big players had improved their speeds by at least 14% during the past six months.

Virgin Media held firm at the top of the table in June, with typical streaming speeds of 2.57Mb, an increase of 19% from 2.16Mb in December 2012.


Broadband provider

Netflix streaming average speed
December 2012

Netflix streaming average speed
June 2013


Virgin Media

























TalkTalk customers had the slowest broadband for streaming in June, although the average of 2.17Mb was a 17% improvement from six months earlier.

BT's streaming speeds went up by 16%, while for O2, EE and Sky customers there was a 14% improvement in average Netflix performance.

The figures may appear to be in stark contrast to the 'up to' speeds advertised by providers, but, as Netflix went on to explain, the disparity is to be expected.

It said: "The average speed is well below the peak performance due to many factors, including the variety of encodes we use to deliver the TV shows and movies we carry, as well as home Wi-Fi and the variety of devices our members use.

"Those factors cancel out when comparing across broadband providers, so these relative rankings are a good indicator of the consistent performance typically experienced across all users on a provider's network."

Last week, research by market intelligence firm Point Topic revealed that superfast fibre optic broadband with speeds of up to 30Mb or higher is now used by 20% of UK households.


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