Netflix declares Virgin Media fastest ISP

Everything Everywhere is the slowest
Darren Allan

March 12, 2013

Netflix has released its latest ISP Speed Index, and declared Virgin Media to be the fastest provider in the UK at the moment.

In the figures for February 2013, Virgin Media managed an average of 2.37Mbps when it came to streaming Netflix video over fixed line broadband.

That might seem like a pretty low figure, particularly compared to the national average bandied about by Ofcom, but Netflix does note that the average is well below the peak performance of the ISPs, “due to many factors including the variety of encodes we use to deliver the TV shows and movies we carry as well as home Wi-Fi and the variety of devices our members use.”

In other words, they don’t use that much bandwidth delivering the streams, and the customer’s setup can also make a fair difference. The point is that all these factors roughly cancel out across the service providers, making it an evenly stingy metric of comparison, not to mention a useful real-world one.

BT was in second place and not far behind Virgin on 2.25Mbps, very closely followed by O2 on 2.23Mbps.

Sky was a bit further behind on 2.1Mbps, along with TalkTalk on 2.04Mbps.

The lowest speed by far was Everything Everywhere which hit just 1.77Mbps. What’s possibly more worrying for EE is that while every other major ISP’s figures have risen over the last two months, EE has fallen from a figure of 1.88Mbps last November.

To put Virgin Media’s 2.37Mbps average in perspective, the fastest ISP in the US is Google Fibre on 3.35Mbps. The fastest European ISP is Ownit in Sweden, which hit 2.99Mbps.


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