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Netflix puts UK ahead of USA and Norway in streaming video stakes

British broadband users get the world’s fourth-best Netflix video streaming speeds after Scandinavia – and we beat the USA and Norway.

Netflix recorded an average UK streaming speed of 2.4Mbps in August, compared to 2.64Mbps in Denmark and 1.98Mbps in the USA.

That’s a long way below the UK’s average download speed of 14.7Mbps, but it does reflect consistent streaming speeds over downloads, which often arrive in bursts.

Netflix puts UK ahead of USA and Norway in streaming video stakes
The UK is in the top end of Netflix’s global broadband streaming comparison

Netflix director of corporate communications, Joris Evers, said: “The Netflix ISP Speed Index is based on data from the more than 37 million Netflix members who view over 1 billion hours of TV shows and movies streaming from Netflix per month. 

“The listed speeds reflect the average performance of all Netflix streams on each ISP’s network and are an indicator of the performance typically experienced across all users on an ISP network.”

Netflix publishes monthly league tables for ISPs in the eight countries where it’s available, which don’t include countries with very high FTTP (fibre-to-the-home) penetration.

The USA’s figure is illuminating, but it surely gives the lie to claims by Sony that it can’t launch 4K download services outside the USA because broadband isn’t good enough

It’s more likely that the real problem is securing international rights for 4K movies, but it’s far better PR to bang the Bad Broadband drum and make British consumers feel it’s our fault for living in Cameron’s austerity Britain.

Netflix puts UK ahead of USA and Norway in streaming video stakes
Virgin is pulling out a lead over ISPs based on BT’s network

Virgin Media streams fastest for the UK

In the UK, Virgin Media leads the pack with streaming at 2.65Mbps, which is good news for its newly-announced Netflix app on TiVo.

The best speed from a provider based on BT’s network is BT itself at 2.39Mbps, and Virgin’s lead has grown steadily since February 2013.

At the lower end, TalkTalk, EE and Sky are clustered together from 2.21-2.27Mbps, although their speeds have all risen consistently from around 2.1Mbps since April.

Sadly, Netflix doesn’t publish the streaming speeds for the UK’s small number of fibre-only ISPs – we’d guess they’re just not big enough to be statistically reliable.

If they did, it might not be too astounding: Google Fibre’s average in the USA league table is just 3.58Mbps.




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