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Netflix is one of the largest content providers on the planet, with over 93 million members in 190 countries, according to the company. Sending that much video out every night is a tall order, and at peak hours a large portion of the world's web traffic is made up of Netflix videos.
Managing all that data without destroying the internet is a daily task, and some countries (and ISPs) do a better job than others. While Netflix heavily compresses all of the video that is streamed to your home, your ISP has a great deal of control over how much bandwidth it will dedicate to shows like Iron Fist.
As we covered not too long ago, Netflix collects all of this data and reports it on its ISP Speed Index page. Though the company rarely makes a big deal out of it, the ISP Speed Index is a subtle kick in the rear to ISPs to make sure they don't throttle Netflix videos too heavily.
But while it's useful for picking the best ISPs in your neighborhood, it's also a great excuse for some good old fashioned international competition. And if you're like me—a typical red-blooded American—you probably assumed that the US would be top dog. After all, Netflix is a US company. We have some of the richest telecom companies on the planet. The freaking Internet was invented here (Kind of.). U-S-A! U-S-A!
So you head on over to Netflix's worldwide ranking of the countries with the best Netflix prime-time performance and scroll right to the top spot to see the good old red, white, and...
Well, it's just red and white. Because it's Switzerland. But hey, that's not so bad! It's a small country. It must be easy to wire up a country like that with great broadband. So you scroll down some more...
So we didn't medal. That's still not terrible. Those are good countries, too. Belgium has great chocolate and the Netherlands have, uh, recreational things. Let's keep going...
Oh, c'mon. Luxembourg? It's the size of Rhode Island. That's not fair.
This isn't fun for me, anymore.
This is a joke, right?
How on Earth does Middle Earth have better Netflix performance than we do? I thought their version of the Internet was just giant torches on mountaintops:
And here we are. Good old #15. At least we're above Canada. I was worried for a moment.
C'mon, America. We're better than this.