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Netflix speeds for Comcast customers finally go up

Published March 11, 2014 9:06 pm

Streaming • After four months of declines, Comcast customers finally get faster speeds on Netflix.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Perhaps Comcast Internet subscribers will finally be able to watch "House of Cards" without the video stopping every five minutes to buffer.

Netflix, the video streaming service that is the home to such cult shows as the political drama starring Kevin Spacey and the prison drama, "Orange is the New Black," reported that the average Internet speed on its service for Comcast customers has finally gone up in February after four-straight months of declines.

That might be because Netflix came to an agreement with Comcast earlier this month that it will pay the cable company more money to directly deliver the video streaming straight to Comcast customers. Before, Netflix went through a third-party provider, Cogent Communications.

CNN reported that a Comcast statement said Netflix was "already delivering an even better user experience to consumers" and that a source with the cable company confirmed that the direct connection between Comcast and Netflix had already been established.

Comcast is the largest provider of broadband cable Internet connectivity in Utah.

According to Netflix's February report, Comcast customers can stream Netflix video at an average of 1.68 megabits per second. Though up from the month before, it still falls short of 5 megabits per second that Netflix recommends for high definition video. According to the report, Google Fiber, which now has launched in Provo, had the fastest average speed for Netflix users in February at 3.74 megabits per second.

What is uncertain is if Netflix will have to make similar money deals like it did with Comcast with other Internet providers to get better speeds to stream its videos. Netflix has been known to take up a huge amount of bandwidth during peak hours of the day, usually primetime when people are watching TV shows or movies through the service.

Also, a recent ruling by a federal court that essentially struck down net neutrality means that Internet providers such as Comcast or CenturyLink can throttle back Internet speeds from certain services such as Netflix unless they are paid more money.

vince@sltrib.com

Twitter: @ohmytech

 

 


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