Netflix Monitors Internet Speeds, and the Fastest May Surprise You

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - The people at Netflix ( NFLX) know the real speed numbers. It's their business to know. If Netflix is going to make sure their streaming entertainment services perform well in your home, it stands to reason that they're checking Internet provider speeds to see what's the fastest -- and slowest.

Starting today, Netflix began posting those results on a website called ISP Speed Index. The Los Gatos, California-based company plans each month to publish for the largest Internet providers in the U.S. and seven other countries.

It's interesting to see just how well the top Internet service providers fared in the Speed Index's February survey. According to the numbers, you can forget about what you hear in all those hyperbolic commercials about "blazingly fast" Internet connections. There is one clear speed demon - and the rest are closely bunched, tied for second through fifteenth place.

The clear winner? Google ( GOOG) Fiber with an average delivered speed of 3.35 Mbps. It's more than 50 percent faster than its closest competition. And, if you check the monthly results in graph form, Google Fiber is getting faster each month.

Second place went to Cablevision's ( CVC) Optimum Online service, boasting an average delivered speed of 2.35 Mbps. Privately-held Suddenlink was third (2.19 Mbps) and Cox ( COX) held in fourth place with 2.12 Mbps.

The real surprise comes from Verizon Communications ( VZ), which touts the superiority of its fiber network. Verizon was only able to muster a fifth-place showing with a score of 2.10 Mbps.

Rounding out the February top ten are Charter ( CHTR) (2.08 Mbps), Comcast ( CMCSA) (2.06 Mbps), Mediacom and Time Warner ( TWC) are tied with 2.04 Mbps and Bright House (2.02 Mbps).

Last place went to Clearwire, ( CLWR)the slowest of the 17 ISPs in the Speed Index with a score of 1.25 Mbps.

Google's new fiber service is indeed fast, but at present, it's only available in the Kansas City area. Google was down 1 percent in early trading to $826.61 while Netflix was up 1 percent to $182.29.

--Written by Gary Krakow in New York.

>To submit a news tip, send an email to: tips@thestreet.com.
Gary Krakow is TheStreet's senior technology correspondent.

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