Google recently released an online tool that allows Internet users to see how well different Internet providers in their area are able to stream videos from YouTube. By detecting a user’s location and averaging video consumption rates over the last 30 days, Google’s Video Quality Report displays a graph that shows the percentage of videos streamed properly in high or standard definition and patterns in video consumption during different times of the day.
An ISP with an “HD Verified” rating is able to stream high definition YouTube videos with quick load times at least 90 percent of the time. HD YouTube videos are usually at least 720p quality. A “Standard Definition” rated ISP is able to stream standard definition YouTube videos (360p quality) with moderate load times at least 90 percent of the time.
The new tool gives Internet users a simple way to compare local Internet providers, which will in turn, put more pressure on providers to increase their speeds and improve their product to keep up with the competition. Users will now have all the information in one simple Web site.
“To help users determine if a video streaming problem is being caused by their ISP, Google’s tool also has a number of troubleshooting tips available in addition to an interactive site that explains how video gets from YouTube to your device, through Google’s and your ISP’s network,” reports Forbes.
Netflix also has its own ISP rating system that examines Internet speeds. The “ISP Speed Index” is different from Google’s Video Quality Report in that it ranks ISPs by country and that it relies entirely on its own data based on average speeds during peak streaming hours.
According to The Wall Street Journal, “Google uses information supplied by cable and telephone companies.” Cablevision and Cox are among the top U.S. Internet providers based on Netflix’s ISP Speed Index, but including the smaller Internet service providers, Google Fiber with its ultra-fast connection speeds tops the list.