Sorry, House of Cards fans — America is just about the worst place on Earth to catch the much-anticipated second season of the Netflix hit.
That's because U.S. Netflix viewers will, on average, watch it at slower streaming speeds than just about anywhere else.
A year ago, the U.S. was rather middle-of-the-pack when it came to average Netflix streaming speed. But while most other countries have boosted their speed, the U.S. average dropped nearly 10 percent over the last year.
And as of last month, the average U.S. Netflix speed bested only that of Mexico — and just barely — and of Argentina, where Netflix just arrived last month.
Much of the U.S.'s dropoff can be attributed to two of its biggest Internet service providers. Comcast and Verizon customers have seen their Netflix speed drop by around 10 to 25 percent in the past year.
Verizon FiOS had the smallest speed drop, but still fell from No. 2 to No. 7 among U.S. providers since November of 2012. Comcast plummeted nearly 25 percent, and Verizon DSL — the slowest-streaming ISP in the world — also fell in excess of 25 percent.
In light of the recent court decision overturning net-neutrality rules, some may look askance at this slowdown because the decision cleared the way for providers to charge high-bandwidth websites more — or slow traffic to those same sites. (Stephanie Stamm)