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Google Video Quality Report Tests Broadband ISP Speeds But Not in the UK

Thursday, Jan 23rd, 2014 (9:17 am) - Score 1,762

Internet technology giant Google has launched a new Video Quality Report service, which effectively benchmarks the performance of different broadband ISPs by how effectively they can stream videos from its hugely popular YouTube video streaming site. Now if only it was available to the United Kingdom.

The new tool, which takes your general location and the time of day into account, breaks its performance report down by ISP and video quality (i.e. how well your ISP streams videos using the standard 360p+ or High Definition 720p settings etc.). Broadband providers that show they can deliver smooth YouTube videos at 720p for 90% of requests (over a 30-day period) will be awarded a special YouTube HD Verified gong.


At present the new tool is only available to Internet users in Canada, although it’s widely expected that the service will soon find its way into the United States and then hopefully over to the United Kingdom. But so far no firm ETA for any of this has been revealed.

However it’s necessary to warn consumers that this service will be of limited use for gauging the general performance of your broadband ISP. The service, much like the video streaming SpeedIndex that Netflix puts out (here), is only useful as a very general reflection of YouTube performance on an ISP and this is due to several reasons.

For example, video streaming performance can be affected by all sorts of factors, such as the dynamic nature of different video codecs, the performance of your home network (especially wifi), your ISPs Traffic Management measures and varying video quality etc.

In other words the service might be useful for seeing a very broad overview of performance with YouTube on your ISP and it could even help to spot if your provider has a peering problem to the service or if they’ve begun aggressively throttling YouTube traffic. But it’s not going to tell you how fast you can download that file you wanted from Microsoft.com or how good your latency will be to a specific Call of Duty server in Germany. It will only tell you about YouTube and in very broad terms.


Google’s YouTube Video Quality Report

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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