Netflix releases monthly reports on major ISPs relating to how well their service works on each provider. The purpose is to educate the public on their choice of service provider, but since many of us hardly have any choice at all when is comes to an ISP, it backhandedly works to shame them (if they're even capable of feeling shame under all those millions of dollars).
Now, Google's ISP rankings, released in Canada a few months ago, are available for U.S. markets in the form of a YouTube Video Quality Report.
The ratings represent the streaming quality you can expect, at least 90% of the time, when you watch YouTube on an ISP in a specific area. Being HD Verified means that videos of at least 720p should have "quick load times".
According to research from Ars, Comcast achieved HD Verified status in all of the top ten markets in the states. Verizon FiOS reached the same accolade in six of the top ten markets, while their DSL service only cracked SD levels in two markets.
Initial reports suggest that AT&T U-verse service was unable to crack HD status in any of the top ten markets, but considering that they don't even provide service in three of those markets, we're not entirely sure what data Google was measuring.
But in any regard, not achieving HD Verified status in seven of the top ten markets is still quite a blow to DirectTV's future stakeholder.
Comcast's future acquisition, Time Warner Cable, only achieved HD status in San Diego, with SD status in most other major markets.
For shame TWC, for shame...
Cablevision received HD Verified status in New York only, but has a much better standing with Google and Netflix (they are a Netflix content partner).
Check out the reports for your area and see how your ISP fares. If they didn't do too well, you'll probably side with content providers like Google and Netflix in their arguments for fee-free peering agreements.
If they can urge ISPs, even through shaming, that providing free connections to their networks in order to ensure better quality is good for their customers (which is definitely good for their bottom lines), we could be venturing into the allusive "everybody wins" arena.
Though I wouldn't count on it.
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