| WASHINGTON, July 7
WASHINGTON, July 7 Google Inc
is rating Internet service providers' video streaming quality on
a new website, the latest development in the fight between
broadband providers and content companies over who is to blame
for slow streaming speeds.
A link to the website appears when videos on Google's
streaming service, YouTube, are slow to buffer. The website
quietly launched in May, but recently drew growing publicity.
"There are many factors that influence your video streaming
quality, including your choice of Internet Service Provider
(ISP). Learn how your ISP performs and understand your options,"
the website reads.
Google rates the Internet service providers based on how
quickly billions of hours of YouTube videos watched every month
load over 30 days and divides those results by provider and
location to determine the quality of performance viewers get 90
percent of the time, the company said.
The website is intended to inform customers who want to view
video in high-definition how best to do it, Matt McLernon, a
YouTube spokesman said.
"We are just basically providing information, not trying to
tell people to change their behavior or do anything different,"
Customers can compare the performance of various Internet
service providers in their area through the website.
Google is not the first content company to send messages
directly to consumers about their Internet service providers. In
June, Netflix Inc sent its customers messages that
Verizon Inc and other Internet providers were to blame
for slow speeds.
Last month, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission
announced it would investigate agreements between Internet
service providers and content companies to determine whether
they are causing slow speeds.
Netflix has been calling on the FCC to do away with fees
content companies pay to Internet service providers for smooth
delivery of their services to consumers.
The FCC is expected to consider that idea as it seeks public
comment on recently proposed Internet traffic, or "net
neutrality," rules that suggest content companies should be
allowed to strike "commercially reasonable" deals with broadband
providers to give priority to their traffic.
(Reporting by Marina Lopes; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)