Archive for Netflix

Netflix Releases Canada ISP Speed Index For November

Posted in Commentary with tags on December 9, 2014 by itnerd

The day that Netflix releases their monthly ISP Speed Index the day that makes ISPs cringe as they hope they aren’t on the bottom of this list. This time around, there aren’t really any major changes with the exception of Videotron moving up two spots. Other than that, the differences between ISPs are slight. The top 10 ISPs are very close together. That’s good as it shows that ISPs take this seriously. That means at the end of the day it doesn’t matter who your ISP is if you’re a Netflix user as you’ll get decent performance.

CRTC Blinks In The Battle Against Netflix

Posted in Commentary with tags , , on September 30, 2014 by itnerd

When I last talked about Netflix, the CRTC had demanded data on subscribers along with other info from the company. The response of Netflix was to use a Glee reference, “hell to the no.” So the question was, what would the CRTC do to an entity that they technically don’t regulate.

The answer according to The Toronto Star is nothing:

In a letter to the U.S.-based, web-streaming service on Monday, Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications’ secretary general John Traversy said the CRTC has “the powers of a superior court . . . to enforce its orders” and oblige Netflix to provide confidential business data. 

But he said the regulator has decided to carry on without the information.

Traversy, however, said the CRTC would expunge on Oct. 2 all public record of Netflix’s participation in public hearings on the broadcasting system if it continues to refuse to relinquish closely held information. The CRTC will base any regulatory outcomes on the data available.

In short, the CRTC wasn’t willing to take on Netflix and potentially lose badly. Thus they basically folded up their tent and went home while acting like they could have done something to force them to comply. And the fact that they’re going to delete any record of the participation of Netflix in the Let’s Talk TV hearings will not bother Netflix at all.

Also, you should recall that Google had a similar demand from the CRTC which Google blew off. Want to place a bet that the CRTC backs off of them too?

Netflix Blows Off The CRTC

Posted in Commentary with tags , on September 22, 2014 by itnerd

You might recall that Netflix paid a visit to the CRTC last week and get a very nasty reception. Plus, the CRTC demanded that Netflix hand over subscriber data by 5PM today. Netflix responded to that request this way:

In a submission to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission filed Monday, Netflix director of global public policy Corie Wright provided information the regulator had asked for that the company does not consider confidential, such as its privacy policy and some screenshots of its Canadian content.

But it refused to hand over competitively sensitive information like Canadian subscriber numbers. Ms. Wright said Netflix’s position is that the CRTC has no jurisdiction to order the American company to disclose those details.

“Specific information requested by the commission… remains confidential and competitively sensitive, the disclosure of which to third parties would be highly prejudicial to Netflix,” Ms. Wright said in the letter. “Accordingly, Netflix is not in a position to produce this information. Moreover, the orders are not applicable to Netflix under Canadian broadcasting law.”

I think that translates to “take a hike CRTC.” But I could be wrong about that.

Now Netflix operates in Canada under a special exemption. The CRTC could yank that, though it’s questionable if that would have any real effect on the streaming service. Plus, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said the federal government “will not allow any new regulations or taxes on Internet video.” Which suggests to me that the Prime Minister really likes House Of Cards and Orange Is The New Black if the CRTC made any move towards Netflix, it would end badly for the CRTC. After all, it’s happened before.

CRTC Calls Out Netflix [UPDATED]

Posted in Commentary with tags , on September 19, 2014 by itnerd

If you have nothing to do today, you might want to watch the live CRTC hearing that’s going on today. Netflix is in front of the broadcast regulator today and in an interesting twist, it’s become very heated, passive aggressive & telling. The big hint that this hearing is going sideways is that the CRTC is ordering Netflix to disclose Canadian content numbers and project spending by 5 PM Monday. The CRTC clearly doesn’t want them in Canada which doesn’t come as a shock given that the CRTC is made up of ex-Canadian telco execs. The funny thing is, that Netflix doesn’t have a broadcast license from the CRTC, so I am not sure what they will do if Netflix doesn’t comply. Perhaps someone can clarify that for me.

I’m not sure what Netflix did to deserve this, but If I were Netflix I’d be tempted to shut down the Canadian service today just out of spite. They’re clearly not welcome.

UPDATE: The live stream from the hearing is over. Michael Geist has documented what happened here. In short, the CRTC implicitly threatened to regulate the company by taking away Netflix’s ability to rely on the new media exception if it did not cooperate with its orders. This is a perfect example as to why the CRTC needs to disappear.

The Competition Tightens With The Latest Canadian Netflix Speed Rankings

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 9, 2014 by itnerd

Netflix late yesterday released their latest speed rankings for ISPs in Canada and it’s becoming clear that there’s a tightening at the top of the food chain. Bell Canada Fibe leads the way with MTS Fiber Optic tied for second with Bell Aliant Fiber Optic. The difference between first and second? It was 0.09 Mbps. That’s close. The next five ISPs are within 0.12 Mbps of each other. Clearly, being at the top this list really, really matters. Thus they’re clearly working hard to make sure that they are as close to the top as possible.

Latest Netflix Rankings Out… Rogers, SaskTel & MTS Jump Up

Posted in Commentary with tags , on July 14, 2014 by itnerd

If you use Netflix in Canada, then the company’s latest speed rankings will be of interest to you. Some ISP’s made a jump, so I’ll just quote what Netflix said on that:

After breaking out DSL and fiber from MTS and Sasktel, fiber networks of both providers ranked high in performance, with MTS Fiber taking the third spot and Sasktel Fiber coming in fifth.

Also of interest is Rogers, who when this ranking first appeared were on the bottom of the list and then moved up in May, is now 6th overall up from 12th. Clearly whatever work they did to improve their ranking is paying off.

Overall, it seems that a significant number of ISPs are improving their speed when it comes to Netflix. Not only that, the gaps between ISPs is starting to narrow. That shows that the pressure that this list creates is having the desired effect. That’s good for anyone who subscribes to Netflix.

Latest Netflix Speed Index Shows Bell Still Leads And Rogers Is Doing Better

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 9, 2014 by itnerd

You might remember that Netflix ranked Canadian ISPs and two things jumped out. Bell won with its Fibe service and Rogers was last. But they promised to fix things to make their ranking better. Well, the rankings for May are out, and the results show that Bell still leads. But Rogers moved off the bottom by two spots. So that’s good for them. The other things that jump out at me is the fact that Teksavvyand Allstream jumped up two places from the last ISP ranking. So, this suggests to me that competition between ISPs is going to make this ranking very competitive over the next few months. That’s something that will ultimately end up benefiting consumers which is a good thing.

Netflix Ranks Canadian ISPs…. Bell Wins & Rogers Finishes Last [UPDATED]

Posted in Commentary with tags , on May 12, 2014 by itnerd

If you use Netflix in Canada, you’ll be interested in how your ISP stacks up. That’s because you’ll get a better viewing experience from an ISP that streams Netflix movies well. So to that end, Netflix has ranked Canadian ISPs with some surprising results. Shockingly, Bell Canada’s Fiber Optic network came out on top. What’s even more shocking is the fact that Rogers was dead last. Rogers finishing dead last was a shock to me because a couple of years ago they hired a third party to make sure that their network was the fastest around. Clearly that went sideways at some point. Thus it didn’t surprise me to see that Rogers responded to this via RedBoard:

Netflix’s test was done just before we virtually doubled Netflix capacity and we’ll continue to add more capacity as it’s needed. These results only apply to customers’ specific Netflix connection and not overall internet speeds.

Independent third party testing continues to show that Rogers offers top internet speeds.

That response sort of implies that they were throttling or somehow not giving Netfilx the bandwidth it needed. Curious.

Netflix will keep an eye on Canadian ISP’s going forward. Thus it will be interesting to see what the results are the the next time a ranking like this is done.

UPDATE: Clearly Rogers is sensitive about this as they sent me this statement:

Netflix’s test was done just before we virtually doubled Netflix capacity and we’ll continue to add more capacity as it’s needed. These results only apply to customers’ specific Netflix connection and not overall internet speeds.

Independent third party testing continues to show that Rogers offers top internet speeds, for example Ookla found that Rogers speeds are the fastest in Canada, Sam Knows, an independent leader in internet testing, found that Rogers customers get faster speeds than advertised even when the network is at its busiest. Also, recognized Rogers as the fastest overall in its Canada’s fastest Internet Service Provider review and YouTube has ranked Rogers as a top-quality network to deliver HD videos.

I’ve included the links to those studies below:,2817,2424462,00.asp,7/Canada (link to OOKLA study, please scroll past the city results to see ISP)

Hope this helps, let me know if you have any further questions


Hey IT Nerd! Now That A Netflix Only Show Has Been Nominated For An Emmy Award, Is Netflix Worth It Now?

Posted in Commentary with tags on July 19, 2013 by itnerd

For those who don’t read my blog on a regular basis, the person who’s asking the question is making a reference to a post from a little while ago where I said that Netflix wasn’t worth $8 a month in Canada because of the lack of content. However, the news is out that House Of Cards, a show produced by and only available on Netflix have been nominated for an Emmy Award. This marks the first time that a show that is only broadcast on the Internet have been nominated for an Emmy.

So the question is, does that change my perception of them? Netflix has now proved that it is not just a content distributor, but a content creator. One that can get top talent to create content that people want to watch and compete against the likes of HBO and FX. That changes the game immensely as the need to sign deals to broadcast other people’s content isn’t something that hinders its growth. If they can continue down this path, that would make me reconsider getting Netfilx in my home again.

As an aside, you can bet a lot of cable companies and networks are concerned right now by the rise of Netflix. And they should be. The future is staring them right in the face. They’ll have to adapt or die.

Netflix Canada: Sadly Not Worth The $8 A Month

Posted in Commentary with tags , on March 9, 2013 by itnerd

My wife signed up for Netflix a few months ago hoping to catch up on all the movies and TV shows she missed as a kid. But after 5 months, she cancelled her subscription. Her reason for doing so was simple. There wasn’t enough content. A lot of the shows and movies that she wanted to see were simply not available. So the question is this: Why is that when US Netflix customers can see so much more?

The answer comes down to getting the rights to stream content. It appears that Netflix cannot get the rights to the shows and movies that you want to see in Canada. Meanwhile, GlobalTV, Citytv, CTV, and CBC have this same content that Netflix wants available for free. On top of that, you’ve also got Rogers Anyplace TV who not only does that, but offers movies too. Oh, to add to that there’s the juggernaut known as iTunes with all their content.

So that makes Netflix seem like a poor choice if you want to get the movies and TV shows you want. Will that improve? I don’t think so in the short term. One thing that you will notice in the previous paragraph is that with the exception of iTunes, everyone who does stream the content you want is owned by a telco who has a TV service that they make a pile of money from (be it cable, IPTV, or whatever). They don’t really have an interest in you going to somebody other than them to get content and tempting you to dump their TV services (otherwise known as “cutting the cord”). Thus, Netflix will be on the short end of the stick. Perhaps there needs to be some government intervention to change this so that Canadian consumers have some choice other than the usual group of telcos.

Until that happens, Netflix is not worth $8. It’s a pity that Canada is so backward when it comes to this sort of thing.