After months of slowed-down data speeds for Netflix users on Comcast and Time Warner Cable’s network, speeds rebounded the very same month that Netflix agreed to pay Comcast money for more direct access to its network.
As you can see from the graph above, generated from Netflix’s monthly report, Comcast customers saw a dramatic turnaround in streaming speeds, going from about 1.5 Mbps to 1.7 Mbps.
Though that is still far off from the 2.1 Mbps speeds Comcast users were seeing before their ISP’s numbers started to tank, it is hopefully the beginning of an upward trend. Of course, there wasn’t really much worse Comcast speeds could get.
What’s interesting is that the Netflix deal wasn’t announced until late February, with only a few days left in the month. Had Comcast eased up on congested peering points in expectation of the agreement being finalized?
Likewise, since no paid peering deal with Time Warner Cable has been announced, we have to wonder if the sudden improvement in TWC’s speeds are tied to its proposed merger with Comcast. Granted, TWC’s speed results have been so erratic that it’s possible this uptick is just a matter of someone using the good duct tape to fix a loose connection somewhere.
Meanwhile, Verizon FiOS speeds have sunk from being the best and steadiest of the three providers to substandard levels. Netflix is reportedly in talks with Verizon for a paid-peering deal of some sort, so those numbers will likely improve; it’s just a question of when — and how bad Verizon will allow the connection to get before customers revolt.