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Netflix reports 65 percent jump in Comcast streaming speed

Just weeks after the two companies signed a deal requiring Netflix to pay for interconnection, Comcast’s streaming speed surges. But is this really that shocking?


In its monthly numbers on the speediest Internet service providers, Netflix shows that Comcast speeds jumped 65 percent from January to March. The video streaming service says this is significant because it's the first time this type of data has been released since the company signed a deal to pay Comcast for direct access to its broadband network.


"This month's rankings are a great illustration of how performance can improve when ISPs work to connect directly to Netflix," the company wrote in a blog post Monday. "In the US, the average speed on the Comcast network for Netflix streams is up 65 percent from 1.51Mbps in January to 2.5Mbps in March."

While a 65 percent jump is something, it's actually not that shocking -- all the ISPs in Netflix's rankings that allow for this kind of interconnection have better speeds. Comcast was just the first ISP with the heft to insist Netflix pay for interconnection, as it insists other content providers do.

In February, Netflix made the deal with Comcast. Under the so-called paid peering deal, which was deemed mutually beneficial, Netflix is allowed to connect directly to Comcast's network instead of going through intermediaries, as it formerly did.

The two companies had for years been locked in a dispute over the cost of delivering Netflix streams to customers over Comcast's broadband network. While Netflix wanted to connect to Comcast's network for free, the cable giant sought compensation for the heavy traffic that Netflix users generate, arguing that it costs the company a lot to deliver Internet video.

"Providers like Netflix have always paid for their interconnection to the Internet and have always had ample options to ensure that their customers receive an optimal performance through all ISPs at a fair price," Comcast's executive vice president, David L. Cohen, said last month. "We are happy that Comcast and Netflix were able to reach an amicable, market-based solution to our interconnection issues and believe that our agreement demonstrates the effectiveness of the market as a mechanism to deal with these matters."

It appears Netflix has come around since making the deal with Comcast and is pleased with the faster connection speeds.

"We are dedicated to delivering a great streaming experience and invest in continually improving that experience. Part of that investment is working with ISPs to make Netflix delivery easy and to avoid congestion," Netflix wrote Monday. "We see consistently better speeds for customers served by ISPs that directly connect their network to Netflix using our Open Connect content delivery network."