The peering deal between Netflix and Comcast seems to be paying off for consumers: The average speed of Netflix streams consumed by Comcast subscribers has increased by 65 percent over the last two months, according to Netflix’s most recent ISP Speed Index. In January, Comcast customers accessed Netflix with an average bit rate of 1.51 Mbps. By March, that rate was up to 2.5 Mbps.
This increase led to Comcast climbing the charts in Netflix’s monthly speed index, where the company is now fifth among the country’s big ISPs. Comcast still comes in behind Charter, Suddenlink, Cablevision and Cox, but is faster than Time Warner Cable, Verizon or AT&T.
Netflix entered a paid peering agreement with Comcast in February after previously resisting demands by internet providers to pay for peering. The agreement guarantees Netflix enough peering capacity to prevent slow-downs when its traffic enters Comcast’s network, but it also sets a precedent for content providers paying ISPs for their traffic.
Netflix subsequently called on the FCC to make peering a net neutrality issue and prevent ISPs from charging these kinds of peering fees, but the commission declined to take up the issue.
Correction: A previous version of this story said that the average speed for Comcast customers in January was 1.15 Mbps, when in fact it was 1.51 Mbps. We updated the story at 1:08 pm with the correct number.