Netflix is seeing a year-over-year average performance increase across the ISP landscape for video delivery, with significant increases in average speed in the US and Europe for November.
In the US, the average speed for the top ten cable and fibre ISPs increased over 1Mbps in the last year, rising from 2.03Mbps last November to 3.07Mbps today. Contributors to that include Cablevision, Cox and Charter.
"Additional interconnect capacity also helped normalise performance across these ISPs," Netflix noted in its latest Speed Index. Last November, the spread between the highest and lowest speeds among the top ten was about 1Mbps; today, it's narrowed considerably to 0.33Mbps.
The company saw similar improvements in performance in Europe, including the UK and Ireland, with the average speed over the last year increasing to 3.31Mbps today from 2.62Mbps last November. Ireland posted the biggest gains with its average speed jumping 1Mbps to 2.78Mbps.
"While all the European countries we tracked last November - except for the Netherlands, which was higher - averaged speeds below 2.85Mbps, everyone except for Ireland topped 3Mbps last month, including the six new countries added in September," Netflix said.
The news comes as FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai has written a letter to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, noting that he is "surprised" that the company would appear to be working to secure fast lanes for its own content, at the expense of competitors.
The streaming video company has a "basic argument" that its management are "big believers in a free and open Internet," Pai said in the letter, while at the same time installing "its own proprietary caching appliances throughout ISPs' networks as part of an Open Content programme".
Also, it did not join the just-launched Streaming Video Alliance which has the support of bigwigs like Alcatel-Lucent, Charter Communications, Cisco, Comcast, Epix, Fox Networks Group, Major League Baseball and Yahoo! The alliance is devoted to defining specifications for network and cloud-based streaming and caching infrastructure, quality of experience and interoperability.
Pai noted that Netflix has "chosen not to participate in efforts to develop open standards for streaming video," and in fact would appear to "undermine aspects of open standards". Specifically, it has reportedly changed up its streaming protocols where open caching is used, which impedes that open-caching software from correctly identifying and caching Netflix traffic. Pai noted that because Netflix constitutes such a substantial percentage of streaming video traffic, its lack of participation directly affects the viability of open standards.