Netflix download speeds over Comcast internet networks in the United States instantly rose 55% after the two companies struck a controversial deal to offer faster service for a fee. That’s evident in the streaming video provider’s latest “speed index” for internet service providers (ISPs). Comcast jumped six places to number five among American ISPs.
In February, Netflix agreed to pay for a more direct connection to Comcast’s servers, resolving a dispute that had led to a reduction in download speeds. (For a detailed explanation, read this piece.) Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said it was Faustian bargain: “While in the short term Netflix will in cases reluctantly pay large ISPs to ensure a high quality member experience, we will continue to fight for the internet the world needs and deserves.”
Comcast views the deal as only fair because Netflix sends so much data over its networks. The peering arrangement between the two companies falls outside of what US government regulators consider to be net neutrality.
Verizon appears to be in a similar dispute with Netflix—one that hasn’t been resolved. And the resulting difference in customer experience is plainly evident in the chart above.