Frequently Asked Questions

  1. 1) ISPs sell many different internet products that promise different speeds. Does the methodology rate each product and speed separately?
    Each ISP can provide appropriate product names and speeds for its different offerings, and the labels in the report depend on the information we have from the ISP. In some cases, ISPs will provide us information that allows us to identify and rate the different products and speeds. In other cases, we don’t have detailed information about the speeds offered to consumers, so we provide a general rating of the product across all speeds.
  2. 2) Why is the bar set high at 90%? Why not use mean or median?
    At Google, we strongly believe that consistent and reliable network performance is key to a great user experience on the internet. Hence the choice of 90% bar. I.e. one can expect the rated level of performance 9 out of 10 times. While mean and median values are useful to represent average network performance, they are not well suited for the purpose of the rating metric which tries to capture the sustained level of the network performance.
  3. 3) Does this methodology recognize and reward networks that offer sustained high performance during high service usage hours?
    Yes. Since the GAT volume is request (load) based, high YouTube consumption time periods (e.g. evenings) would contribute more towards the GAT volume pool, thereby offering a disproportionate influence on the final rating. The methodology is naturally normalized for usage.
  4. 4) What type of server requests are qualified to be included in ratings computation?
    Requests serving video in modern delivery formats (e.g. DASH, HLS) are included in the ratings computation. Legacy video formats (e.g. non-adaptive progressive playbacks, RTSP) are excluded due to lack of high measurement confidence in older streaming delivery mechanisms. This is done in the interest of maintaining high degree of accuracy in computed ISP ratings.
  5. 5) What are factors within the user’s control that may influence their video quality experience?
    Individual results may vary depending on factors such as: the number of connected users or devices, your hardware, your software and software configuration, your connection to the internet (wireless or fixed), and whether you have exceeded your allotted data quota.