Netflix launches global ISP speed index website

Netflix (s NFLX) unveiled its Global Speed Index website Monday, aggregating performance results from its 33 million worldwide subscribers in one place, and allowing users to see which ISP offers the best Netflix performance in their country.
And guess which country is leading the charge, offering its citizens some of the fastest Netflix speeds? That’s right, the United States. However, U.S. broadband only came in first because of Google (s GOOG) Fiber, whose very few actual customers saw an average Netflix speed of 3.35 Mbps in February. Second in is the U.K., where Virgin customers averaged 2.37 Mbps during the same month. At the bottom of the list is Mexico, where the fastest ISP averaged at 2.10 Mbps.

netflix speed index usa

How U.S. ISPS are performing for Netflix viewing.

Of course, these speeds are far below what most ISPs advertise for their services, but the averages include lower-bitrate SD fare, network slowdowns due to poor Wifi performance and all kinds of other factors. Or, as Netflix puts it:

“The average is well below the peak performance due to many factors including home Wi-Fi, the variety of devices our members use, and the variety of encodes we use to deliver the TV shows and movies we carry. Those factors cancel out when comparing across ISPs, so these relative rankings are a good indicator of the consistent performance typically experienced across all users on an ISP network.”

Still, the site is an interesting tool to compare broadband speeds both within the countries in which Netflix is active as well as between those markets — and for the company, it’s another way to nudge ISPs toward signing up for Netflix’s own CDN.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock user Sashkin.