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In broadband speeds, Argentina falls short

*Megabits per second.

Chile takes the lead in South America in online broadcaster’s monthly ranking

Sitting back to watch a film or television series streamed online has never looked so good in Latin America — except perhaps if you’re in Argentina.
Internet speeds at peak times for streaming online videos are improving across the region, while in Argentina they seem to be slowing, the US-based online broadcaster Netflix suggested yesterday, with a report outlining the performance of Internet service providers in 13 countries where it offers streaming.
January was the first time in which Latin American countries were included in Netflix’s monthly “ISP speed index” report,  even with the US firm having offered services here since September 2011.
“From that moment, the quality of broadband in the region has improved and the tendency is that it will continue development in the right direction, with the exception of Argentina, where average speeds are in decline,” it said in a media release.

The country’s best performer was Grupo Clarín’s cable Internet provider Fibertel, shooting through with 1.88Mbps during peak times, while Telecom was seen dragging the average down to 1.60Mbps, managing just 1.20Mbps.

Meanwhile, Telecentro and Telefonica registered speeds of 1.78Mbps and 1.28Mbps, respectively.

The regional race

“Brazil and Chile are the countries that offer the best experience in all of Latin America, followed by Colombia,” Netflix explained.

Average speeds in those three countries beat Argentina’s maximum speed, with 2.08Mbps, 2.09Mbps and 1.91Mbps, respectively.

But, they were also higher than those in the United States, a country that Netflix noted as having also registered a decline in January.

What’s more, while the average speed in Argentina during January of 1.60Mbps put it at the bottom of the 13-nation comparison, the US — the country with the highest recorded peak-time broadband of 3.78Mbps — had the second lowest average, with 1.78Mbps.

The slowest speed in the United States also signalled it out for having the biggest disparity, with the Verizon-DSL service slugging along with 0.97Mbps, the slowest speed in the 13 countries, along with Chile’s Entel, which also registed 0.97Mbps.

Overall, European broadband speeds were seen performing well in Netflix’s January round-up.

In the Netherlands, the highest recorded speed at peak times was 3.75Mbps, while the average was not far behind at 3.33Mbps. Consistent broadband speeds were also found in the UK, Ireland and the four Scandanavian countries — Denmark, Findland, Sweden and Norway — with average speeds all above the 2.50Mbps-mark.

Netflix compiles its report from data gathered from the 44 million subscribers who watch around one billion hours of television series and films available on the company’s streaming platform each month.

Subscribers in Argentina pay US$8 per month for the streaming service, plus the 35-percent surcharge added to all dollar-denominated purchases.

January’s Netflix results coincide with other information available about Argentina’s broadband performance. Based on data collected over the past 30 days, the broadband testing firm Ookla ranked Argentina 117th globally, with average broadband download speeds of 5.4Mbps — just ahead of Cambodia and Oman with 5.3 and 5.2Mbps, respectively.

Broadband speeds in other Latin American countries also chugged along over the past month, with Bolivian ISPs managing an average of 1.8Mbps and Venezuelan providers just 2.0Mbps, according to Ookla’s data.

—Herald staff

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