Cell C climbs the “best ISP for Netflix” ranks

Netflix has revealed its ISP Speed Index for January 2019, with South Africa holding onto its rank of 53 out of 59 countries.

South Africa’s ISPs achieved an average speed of 2.51Mbps during the month, a decrease over December’s average.

The streaming platform also provides a list of the top 10 ISPs for the country in terms of Netflix streaming performance.

Netflix said this index is a measure of prime-time Netflix performance on ISPs, and not a measure of the overall performance of an ISP’s network.

It calculates the average bitrate, in Mbps, of Netflix content streamed by its members on their ISPs.

“We measure the speed via all available end-user devices. For a small number of devices, we cannot calculate the exact bit rates, and streaming via cellular networks is exempted from our measurements,” said Netflix.

It emphasised that the speeds listed are not an indication of an ISP’s overall performance, and only takes Netflix streaming into account.

When Netflix shows an average bitrate of 3Mbps for an ISP, for example, it could mean that most of the ISP’s subscribers are streaming content in standard definition or have low-speed lines.

Similarly, for ISPs like Cell C that have an average above 3Mbps, it could mean that a larger proportion of its subscriber base streams Full HD content from Netflix.

The Netflix index is therefore not a ranking of which ISPs are faster or slower overall.

Cell C in 3rd

Cell C achieved third place in the January 2019 rankings, and as streaming via cellular networks is exempt from the index, this achievement is based on its fixed-broadband offering.

The company has climbed the ranks from its previous fifth-place ranking in November 2018 and maintained its top-three spot.

Asked about its improved performance, Cell C said that it has not done anything particular to optimise Netflix streaming.

“Given that there have been no significant changes to the network, we suspect it is likely an increase in subscribers streaming Netflix,” Cell C said.

The top 10 ISP rankings are detailed below.

January 2019
Rank ISP Speed Previous Speed Change
1 Cool Ideas 3.76 Mbps 4.00 Mbps
2 Vox 3.54 Mbps 3.58 Mbps
3 Cell C 3.30 Mbps 3.27 Mbps
4 MTN 3.27 Mbps 3.22 Mbps +1
5 Vodacom 3.23 Mbps 3.23 Mbps -1
6 Afrihost 2.90 Mbps 2.93 Mbps
7 Cybersmart 2.55 Mbps 2.60 Mbps
8 MWEB 2.46 Mbps 2.56 Mbps
9 Telkom 1.94 Mbps 2.13 Mbps
10 Neotel 1.85 Mbps 1.90 Mbps

Now read: You may be watching low-quality Netflix – Here is how to check

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Cell C climbs the “best ISP for Netflix” ranks