Netflix Ranks Streaming Speeds In A Bunch Of Countries, Finds Australian ISPs Are Slow As Hell


Netflix has only been officially available in Australia for about six weeks and it’s already eating its local rivals like ABC iView, Yahoo TV, Stan and Presto for breakfast. Clocking around 750,000 daily visits at the end of April, Netflix has already established itself as the streaming service of choice for a far larger portion of Australians than anything domestic businesses have been able to serve up.

The potential ramifications for assorted Australian industries are huge, not least for Australia’s telco providers; Netflix streaming has made a noticeable spike in online traffic, and is so popular that it could be putting strain on Australia’s existing internet infrastructure. None of which would be a problem if we had oh, say, a state-of-the-art broadband network that delivered high quality fibre-optic cable right to the premises, but that’s crazy fantasy talk that could never be accomplished in real life so why bother even thinking about it.


Just to rub it in, Netflix have added Australia and New Zealand to their ISP Speed Index, a guide to which ISPs in which countries will let you stream Netflix the quickest. Seven of Australia’s largest telcos have been ranked accordingly, and the results are actually kind of surprising.


It’s important to note that these are average speeds, measured during peak hours and across all devices, which means you’ll probably get a much better result if you’re watching on your laptop at 3am when everyone else is in bed. I am definitely hypothesising and certainly do not know that from extensive, slightly obsessive experience. No sir.

That said, there are some odd questions to take away from this first measurement; it seems odd that Telstra, among the most expensive of telcos, is also the slowest, for instance. But it’s all relative when the fastest speed you can get is soldily behind almost everyone else anyway. New Zealand, by way of contrast, has five ISPs that stream Netflix faster than our fastest service, because internet speed is heavily reliant on hobbits per square kilometre, apparently.


In fact, Australia lags behind France, Germany, the UK, the US, Canada, and all the Scandinavian countries who top lists of countries doing things well suspiciously often. We do edge out Uruguay though, so that’s something.


Courtesy of Junkee’s design department (MS Paint Division).

That little brownish dot near the bottom of the graph is the only info we have on Netflix streaming speeds so far, but as the months roll on it’ll be interesting to see how quickly we catch up how far we fall behind every other country. Essentially, we have the slowest Netflix streaming speeds in the developed world, and we’re not all that far ahead of plenty of developing ones either. As Netflix gets more popular and cements its hold on the eyeballs of the TV-watching Australian public, it’s going to be interesting seeing what responses we come up with to deal with the strain.