The tool rates how well internet service providers can deliver videos, similar to Netflix's ISP speed rankings.
Google has launched a tool for YouTube users in the US to see how well their internet service provider can deliver videos. The tool rates ISP quality based on the quality of the stream supported and the frequency of buffering or interruptions. ISPs rated "HD Verified" support streaming at at least 720p without buffering. The "Standard Definition" rating means the ISP can deliver at a resolution of at least 360p with moderate load times. The lowest quality rating is "Lower Definition", meaning that only resolutions lower than 360p can be streamed or that videos frequently buffer and load slowly.
The ratings taken into account billions of YouTube videos streamed across thousands of ISPs. The Video Quality Report is based on how quickly all YouTube data was loaded over the last 30 days, broken down by ISP and geographical location. The rating for each location and ISP is based on the minimum speed available speed for at least 90% of those 30 days. The data is anonymized, so no user data is stored or provided by the report. The full methodology report details how Google measured response times and how each rating was defined.
Google's Video Quality Report is similar to the ISP Speed Index from Netflix. The ISP Speed Index provides monthly data comparing the average speed for delivering Netflix content on various ISPs. Google's test is only available for users in the US, but Netflix includes ratings for several countries. Google Fiber has been working with Netflix to deliver content without charging for a fast lane for streaming. With the FCC now accepting public comments on its revised net neutrality proposals, Google may be hoping to add some supporting data. ISPs already have terrible customer service ratings, and poor delivery of content like YouTube contributes to that dissatisfaction. How does your ISP stack up? Let us know in the comments!