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Netflix grades ISPs on HD streaming performance, Charter and Comcast get top marks

Netflix has released some numbers ranking various internet service providers based on how well they deliver Netflix HD video streams. The chart ranks the ISPs based on the sustained bitrate they deliver for a long HD movie, and the results are quite fascinating. Charter and Comcast top the list, with averages of 2,500-2,600 kbps. At the bottom of the list is Clearwire, an ISP majority-owned by Sprint.

That Comcast is treating Netflix traffic well enough -- or neutrally enough -- to rank near the top of this list is interesting, considering the recent feud between the two companies. Back in December, Comcast started charging Netflix partner Level3 an additional fee to stream Netflix video via Comcast's pipes. Judging by these numbers, though, the animosity doesn't extend to throttling Netflix traffic.

Time Warner, Cox and Suddenlink round out the top 5. Things could shuffle around, though: Netflix has promised to update the rankings each month, so ISPs won't be able to put the squeeze on them in secret. This could be useful data for Netflix customers shopping around for Internet service in parts of the the U.S. that offer a choice of ISPs, and it gives the providers additional incentive to treat Netflix fairly.

Tags: clearwire, comcast, internet, internet service providers, InternetServiceProviders, ISPs, netflix, rankings, streaming, video, video on demand, VideoOnDemand, vod