Clearwire says Netflix's ISP data is incomplete

Data on which ISPs are best at streaming Netflix video isn't an apples-to-apples comparison, and speed is only one part of the performance story, Clearwire argues.

Speed is only one way to measure an Internet service provider, said Clearwire, the wireless network that appeared to get slammed last week by a Netflix report on which ISPs were best at delivering streaming video the best.

Last Thursday, Netflix published data on how well various ISPs delivered the company's streaming video. Out of 16 companies, Clearwire came in last. The wireless carrier responded to Netflix's data in a blog post on Friday.

While Clearwire said it was "jazzed" about being the only wireless carrier on the list, the company suggested that Netflix omitted important context for its data and referred to reports by CNET and sister site ZDNet for the kind of information Netflix should have included.

The performance of wireless networks can be affected by the distance between a customer and a cell tower. Despite this, Clearwire, founded in 2003 by cell phone pioneer Craig McCaw, was able to outperform some wired competitors.

"While speed is certainly interesting, it isn't the whole story," Clearwire wrote. "At a time when mobile video streaming is growing at an incredible rate, our network keeps people connected even after they've left the house...Simply put, mobile broadband gives a Netflix subscriber more value, in more places, than a wired connection ever could."

Chart released by Netflix showing how well ISPs performed at streaming the company's video. Netflix

About the author

Greg Sandoval covers media and digital entertainment for CNET News. Based in New York, Sandoval is a former reporter for The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. E-mail Greg, or follow him on Twitter at @sandoCNET.

 

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