Telstra Disputes Netflix's ISP Speed Test Results

Netflix released its first ISP speed test for the Australian market last night, which ranked Telstra dead-last behind the likes of Dodo, Primus and Exetel. The nation's largest ISP isn't taking that lying down, however, offering excuses on its blog as to why that might be the case.

The Netflix ISP ranking calculates the “average prime time bitrate for Netflix content streamed to…members during a particular month”. The first results for the Australian market were released last night, with TPG nailing first place on with an average speed of 3.36Mbps during peak times. Optus followed behind TPG with a speed of 3.27Mbps, with iiNet taking out the top spot at 3.24Mbps. Between the top three and the bottom carrier are Primus, Extel and Dodo, with Telstra bringing up the rear at just 2.23Mbps.

Telstra's Group Managing Director of Networks, Mike Wright, penned a blog to offer "some explanation" on the result. Basically, Wright said that Telstra's slow speed test result is due to Telstra offering service to customers who live further away from their ADSL exchanges on average. The distance between the customer and the exchange means the average speed test result is being slowed down to a crawl due to line attenuation.

Here's the quote from Telstra's Mike Wright:

The Telstra Netflix results are not unusual for a national ADSL provider where the lower averages are due to the extensive size of our ADSL footprint. What it does show is that we are delivering a more than reasonable video experience during peak viewing times, providing over 2 Mbps on average across a vast and extensive network area, servicing some 3.9M customers over ~2800 exchanges.
The factors that influence the national average include the larger size of the Telstra network over a wider ADSL footprint and customer base which means that we serve a larger number of customers further away from exchanges. This is due to the longer length of the copper lines which causes data speeds to reduce with distance.
We want our customers to receive great viewing experiences and each year we invest heavily in upgrading and maintaining our services. This includes upgrades to our core network, exchanges, local backhaul and content distribution solutions, and giving our customers the best new in-home devices like our Gateway Max.
Our focus is on managing our network traffic to ensure the best possible end to end experience for all our customers no matter what service they are using.

You can read the full blog here.

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