netlfix+post & playIn November, Sandvine, in its “Global Internet Phenomena Report 2H 2012” found that audio and video streaming account for 65% of all downstream fixed line Internet traffic in North America between 9 pm and 12 am, with Netflix traffic accounting for half the total.

That puts Netflix in a rather unique position to assess the performance of North America’s Internet Service Providers (ISPs). On Dec. 11, Netflix VP of Content Delivery announced it was launching a program that will “publish monthly rankings of major ISPs based on their actual performance across all Netflix streams.”

Here’s what Netflix has found and published in launching the program:

  •     Google Fiber is now the most consistently fast ISP in America, according to actual user experience on Netflix streams in November.
  •     Broadly speaking, cable Internet services rate higher than DSL.
  •     AT&T U-verse, which is a hybrid fiber-DSL service, shows quite poorly compared to Verizon FiOS, which is pure fiber.
  •     Charter moved down two positions since October.
  •     Verizon mobile has 40% higher performance than AT&T mobile.

Florence notes that “average performance is well below the peak performance due to a variety of factors including home Wi-Fi, a variety of devices, and a variety of encodes. The relative ranking, however, should be an accurate indicator of relative bandwidth typically experienced across all users, homes, and applications.”