Netflix has spent the last few months shaming slow ISPs for their terrible service and speeds, and now Google is out to do the same, expanding its ISP HD streaming report to Australia. The results aren’t pretty.
Google is now measuring ISPs based on their ability to stream HD content to customers from its content delivery networks (CDNs).
Australian ISPs have been under the Google microscope of late, and the results are unsurprising: unless you have the NBN, your YouTube experience probably sucks.
Here’s how Google measures ISPs:
A typical YouTube video playback consists of a YouTube client (player) fetching video bytes in a streaming fashion from a YouTube server (CDN), in one or more requests (e.g. HTTP GET). The first step in determining ISP ratings is to measure the sustained speed at which these video bytes are transferred from server to the client. To measure the achieved application level throughput (goodput), the following are recorded for each request:
1) Request Identity: The originating request’s timestamp, access network (e.g. network block, autonomous system number of ISP) and the coarse geographical location (e.g. country, metro), derived from client attributes such as IP address, User Agent, etc. Note that the IP to location translation done by our automated systems may return a location that is incorrect for some users.
2) Response Size: The number of application bytes (including application headers but excluding any kernel level overhead) transferred by the server to the client, in response to the request.
3) Response Time: The time taken to service the request by server, including network transmission time (all bytes acknowledged by the receiver).
Based on these measurements, the goodput for a given request ‘R’ is computed using the formula below. Each measured request is considered a goodput sample.
From there, Google and YouTube assign each ISP a rating. To achieve a certified HD rating as an ISP, your results need to indicate that 90 per cent of connections made are able to sustain a HD (720p and above) stream.
Only four stand-out performers earned themselves gold stars from Google and YouTube: one is Telstra Cable Broadband; another two are NBN providers (SkyMesh and Activ8Me), and the fourth is Service Elements, a wholesale network provider.
One of the poorest performers on average is Dodo, ranking low on HD streams around the nation.
Check out your ISP results here, and compare the ones that maintain good connections to see if you should switch. [YouTube]