It takes a lot of work to make Comcast look good but Verizon seems to have pulled off the trick. Ars Technica’s Jon Brodkin has done some nice work trying to figure out how Netflix’s performance on Verizon’s network has actually gotten worse even though the two companies reached a peering agreement earlier this year. It basically boils down to this: Comcast was completely prepared to upgrade its interconnectivity infrastructure after signing its deal with Netflix while Verizon was not.
Brodkin’s sources say that although Comcast and Netflix formally signed their new peering agreement in February this year, the two companies’ engineering teams had been working together for the past four months to iron out technical details about the best way to connect Netflix’s own content delivery infrastructure directly to Comcast’s network. In contrast, Verizon hadn’t done any similar kind of legwork before signing its peering deal with Netflix, which meant that it still had months of work to do right after reaching an agreement with Netflix.
So when will Verizon customers be able to actually enjoy the same boost to Netflix streaming quality that Comcast customers have seen? Analyst Dan Rayburn tells Brodkin that Verizon has said everything “will all be in place before year’s end, but won’t give any other ETA.” So it looks like we shouldn’t expect Verizon’s rankings in the Netflix ISP streaming index to magically surge over the next two months.