Movistar offers slowest connection to Netflix users, new ranking shows

Online content provider releases list of Spain’s best and worst operators in terms of speed

Netflix headquarters in Los Gatos (California).
Netflix headquarters in Los Gatos (California).Paul Sakuma

Netflix, the online streaming content provider, has released a ranking of Spanish telecoms companies based on the broadband speeds available when users connect to the entertainment service.

The list focuses on prime time (8pm to 11pm, according to the US-based company), and shows that Movistar offered the slowest average connection speeds, out of seven companies analyzed over the course of a month.

Both Netflix and Movistar – which is owned by former state telecoms provider Telefónica and offers its own TV service, called Movistar+ – have admitted there are problems with the streaming service during evening prime time.

Both Netflix and Movistar, which is owned by Telefónica, have admitted to problems with the streaming service during evening prime time

According to Joris Evers, Netflix’s communications director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the problems do not affect all Movistar users. The trouble consists mainly of “slower video starts” and “a poorer image quality” compared to other internet providers.

The list, which ranks companies by their data rate measured in megabits per second (Mbps), shows three regional cable companies at the top: the Basque Country’s Euskaltel, Galicia’s R (now owned by Euskaltel) and Asturias’s Telecable, which carried 4.15 Mbps, 4.14 Mbps and 3.97 Mbps respectively.

Countries where Netflix is present appear in red, with pink meaning recent additions.
Countries where Netflix is present appear in red, with pink meaning recent additions.NETFLIX

They were followed by ONO-Vodafone (3.85 Mbps), Jazztel (3.85 Mbps) and Orange (3.72 Mbps). Movistar was relegated to last place with 2.15 Mbps, which according to Netflix makes it the fourth-worst performer in all of Europe.

EL PAÍS has learned that these figures are in contrast with Telefónica’s own, which claim if provides average download speeds of eight to 11 Mbps on the company’s fiber optic lines.

In talks

Telefónica and Netflix began talks several months before the US service was launched in Spain, on October 20, to try to reach cooperation agreements. The online entertainment provider has already signed deals with ONO-Vodafone, Jazztel and Orange.

In an official release, Telefónica said that it “complies with interconnection recommendations and rules issued by authorities and regulators.”

The consumer association FACUA-Consumidores en Acción said that it has received a few complaints from Movistar clients who have subscribed to Netflix, but that none have requested a formal complaint against the company for now.

English version by Susana Urra.

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