NETFLIX RANKINGS: Optus just lost the top spot for fastest broadband after two years as Telstra finally avoids the wooden spoon

Netflix show Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. (IMDB/Netflix)

Optus has lost its place at the top of Netflix’s monthly broadband rankings for the first time in two years, overtaken in September by an independent internet provider.

Netflix Australia each month publishes a league table of the six biggest internet service providers in Australia, based on its own calculations of download speed during prime time. It has published such findings since it landed in 2015, to encourage the local broadband industry to improve their performance – a factor that directly affects its own success within the country.

Exetel, founded by entrepreneur and blogger John Linton in the 1990s and still owned by his family, has taken the number one spot in Netflix’s September rankings with an average of 3.61Mbps. This was an improvement from its August average of 3.52Mbps, which was good for second place at the time.

Netflix Speed Index for September 2017. (Source: supplied)

“Our network performance has been consistently strong over a number of years and to have now topped the rankings is a great outcome for us,” said Exetel chief Richard Purdy.

“This reflects considerable investment in capacity over a number of years and our efforts to actively manage network performance… Our network is geared to deliver a strong streaming experience.”

Optus also improved its performance from 3.56Mbps to 3.60Mbps, but it wasn’t quite enough to hold off Exetel, as it settled for second place in the latest rankings. The Singtel-owned telecommunications giant had held the top spot continuously since first taking it in September 2015.

Optus declined to comment to Business Insider.

The other noteworthy performer in the September 2017 survey was Telstra.

As a provider that covers a wide population and some very remote areas, the country’s biggest telco always suffered – perhaps unfairly — in Netflix’s broadband rankings. But the latest survey saw a big leap in average speed, going from 3.14Mbps to 3.45Mbps – enough to lift it off last place above Dodo/iPrimus.

Telstra had held the wooden spoon in every survey since Netflix started tracking Australian providers in April 2015.

Netflix Speed Index history from April 2015 to September 2017. (Source: supplied)

A Telstra spokesperson told Business Insider that, despite the company’s big performance improvement in the latest survey, the Netflix rankings are limited in scope and not “a valid comparison between IPSs”.

“Netflix provides an average video streaming speed snapshot, which is not an actual measure of line speed nor adjusted for the definition of the content being watched,” said the spokesperson.

“Our extensive network area services some 3.9 million customers over [about] 2800 exchanges, well beyond the area and number of ADSL equipped exchanges served by the ISPs in the comparison.”

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