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Netflix says Virgin won the streaming race this Christmas

Each month, Netflix compiles a handy chart showing which internet service providers are leading the race when it comes to streaming speeds. It looks like Virgin took the trophy this Christmas.

Virgin managed an average speed of 4.68 Mbps according to the numbers on Netflix. BT took second place and is hot on the heels of Virgin – the telecommunications company had average streaming speeds of 4.61 Mbps in December, by comparison.

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At the very bottom of the pile is TalkTalk DSL, which offered a measly 3.46 Mbps. Commiserations to anyone trying to watch A Christmas Prince on the service over Christmas.

Luckily for TalkTalk, the company’s fibre service fared much better in the competition, nabbing third place with average speeds of 4.53 Mbps.

The numbers don’t reflect the average download speeds of the individual ISPs, but instead show speeds that are specific to Netflix streaming. In brief, they aren’t a good reflection of how well your internet performs, so don’t panic-buy a new Virgin package just yet.

Any Netflix owners who want to know their personal streaming speed can check on the Netflix ISP Speed Rating tool. Most speed results hover around the 4-4.5 Mbps mark, anything lower than that and you should have a grumble with your provider.

Related: Netflix is apparently fed up of freeloaders – drops free trials in UK

But this number is still significantly lower than the average UK broadband speed of 54.2 Mbps. It’s likely that this disparity is closely linked to the Netflix package that you chose.

If you’ve opted for the bog-standard £5.99 basic plan, then you can only stream content in standard definition. This would push your streaming speeds down. Conversely, a Premium Plan viewer can watch shows in Ultra HD, so they should see a higher number of Mbps.