all my points in the OP still apply, but there have been some interesting trends in the data Netflix publishes and I'm interested in what you guys think might be the cause.
the data is still utterly worthless for comparing ISPs within NZ, of course, but what is interesting is that over the last few months, the average speed across almost all NZ ISPs has actually declined. Just looking at the graph, it's a very clear trend downwards from Jan to March.
I thought at first that it might be a NZ thing, related to removal of global mode maybe or just to do with changes in local caching.
Bear in mind the change is fairly small, around 10-15% or so
If you look at global charts, it still shows a pretty consistent downward trend in average speed for the top 10 countries over the last 2-3 months.
My speculation for why this might be happening:
- Maybe a new Netflix app that restricts throughput to a lower amount on one particular device (e.g. iPad or iPhone). Watching on a big screen might be exactly the same, but NEtflix might decide to push lower bitrates to i-devices or android if the overall experience will still be pretty similar. Lower bitrates on that app would bring down the overall average
- Intentional throttling by Netflix to keep it's distribution costs down and reduce server load.
- Improved compression algorithms in some or all of Netflix's content. If they can encode 720p in 2.5Mbps instead of 2.8Mbps (or whatever) that is going to be pretty good news for people, especially those on lower bandwidth connections or connections with data caps.
Any thoughts from you guys?
ETA: and if anyone is interested, we are now ranked 8th out of 33 countries that Netflix include in their calculations.
For our english speaking brethren:
UK is 9th, USA 14th, Australia a miserable 23rd.
Still pretty damn good.