Two U.S. internet service providers tied for offering the fastest prime-time streaming experience in September, ending a seven-month solo winning streak for Verizon Communications Inc.'s Fios fiber offering.
Netflix's recently released speed index update showed September ended with a tie between Fios and Charter Communications Inc.'s Spectrum cable broadband, both of which averaged streaming speeds of 4.52 Mbps in the U.S. prime-time viewing window. Nearly all of the 13 major U.S. internet providers tracked by Netflix showed month-over-month improvement in average speeds, but Fios lagged its closest competition in the amount of its improvement between August and September.
AT&T Inc.'s U-verse fiber service registered the biggest month-over-month gain, moving up two spots to No. 6 in the speed ranking after its average improved from 4.30 Mbps in August to 4.37 Mbps in September.
Globally, Netflix reported Switzerland as the country with the fastest streaming at 4.48 Mbps on average, followed by Romania at 4.44 Mbps and Iceland at 4.37 Mbps. The U.S. tied with the Netherlands for fourth place, with overall average streaming speeds of 4.32 Mbps.
Saudi Arabia showed the biggest month-over-month gain globally, with download speeds averaging 3.17 Mbps compared to 2.96 Mbps in August. Netflix attributed the boost in part to an improvement in the country's Mobily service, which rose to a 3.23 Mbps average from 2.92 Mbps. Turkey and India also registered big gains in speed, to 3.37 Mbps and 2.88 Mbps, respectively.
Netflix's speed index measures prime-time video speeds for content streamed on Netflix's platform. It does not measure overall performance for other services or data that may travel across the network.