News

Google rates Internet providers’ streaming quality

Google rates Internet providers’ streaming quality

RATING THE ISPs:A link to the website appears when videos on Google's streaming service, YouTube, are slow to buffer. The website quietly launched in May, but recently drew growing publicity. Photo: Associated Press

By Marina Lopes

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Google Inc is rating Internet service providers’ video streaming quality on a new website, the latest development in the fight between broadband providers and content companies over who is to blame for slow streaming speeds.

A link to the website appears when videos on Google’s streaming service, YouTube, are slow to buffer. The website quietly launched in May, but recently drew growing publicity.

“There are many factors that influence your video streaming quality, including your choice of Internet Service Provider (ISP). Learn how your ISP performs and understand your options,” the website reads.

Google rates the Internet service providers based on how quickly billions of hours of YouTube videos watched every month load over 30 days and divides those results by provider and location to determine the quality of performance viewers get 90 percent of the time, the company said.

The website is intended to inform customers who want to view video in high-definition how best to do it, Matt McLernon, a YouTube spokesman said.

“We are just basically providing information, not trying to tell people to change their behavior or do anything different,” said McLernon.

Customers can compare the performance of various Internet service providers in their area through the website.

Google is not the first content company to send messages directly to consumers about their Internet service providers. In June, Netflix Inc sent its customers messages that Verizon Inc and other Internet providers were to blame for slow speeds.

Last month, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission announced it would investigate agreements between Internet service providers and content companies to determine whether they are causing slow speeds.

Netflix has been calling on the FCC to do away with fees content companies pay to Internet service providers for smooth delivery of their services to consumers.

The FCC is expected to consider that idea as it seeks public comment on recently proposed Internet traffic, or “net neutrality,” rules that suggest content companies should be allowed to strike “commercially reasonable” deals with broadband providers to give priority to their traffic.

(Reporting by Marina Lopes; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

Recent Headlines

in Black Friday, Entertainment

‘Frozen’ tops Barbie as top girls’ holiday pick

frozen

The results marked the first time in 11 years that Barbie hasn't held the No. 1 spot in the annual toy survey.

in Trending, Viral Videos

TODAY’S MUST SEE: ‘Friends of the Galaxy’ mashup

24-overlay2

If "Guardians of the Galaxy" was set to the "Friends" theme.

in Entertainment

Today in entertainment history: Nov. 28

willienelson

A look at the Hollywood headlines that went down in history.

in Music

One Direction makes Billboard history

FILE - This Nov. 26, 2013 file photo shows One Direction members, from left, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne, Zayn Malik and Niall Horan on ABC's "Good Morning America"in New York. A representative for One Direction says the band’s lawyers are dealing with a video showing two band members smoking what the singers referred to as an “illegal substance.” British tabloid The Daily Mail posted a five-minute clip Tuesday, May 27, 2014, of Zayn Malik smoking and speaking with Louis Tomlinson, who is filming.

The British boy band became the only group to score four consecutive No. 1 debuts on the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart.

in Entertainment

Today in entertainment history: Nov. 27

beatles

A look at some of the Hollywood headlines that made history.