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YouTube challenges Internet service providers by rating their speeds

YouTube has launched the latest challenge to Internet service providers by rating their performance in different cities.

The Google (GOOG) unit revealed its “Video Quality Report” on Thursday, giving users a look at which providers in their area offer the best speeds for streaming video. The report allows customers to see which providers will allow them to watch YouTube videos in high definition (at least 720p) most of the time as well as which providers’ services may result in only standard definition streaming (360p) or lower. The YouTube report also includes data on when people in each area are watching the most YouTube videos on each service provider.

In New York, YouTube gives its highest rating, “HD Verified,” to Cablevision (CVC), RCN Corporation, and Verizon’s (VZ) FiOS service. Other services such as AT&T (T) and Time Warner Cable fall under the “Standard Definition” rating and YouTube warns that those company’s customers could “experience occasional interruptions on HD videos.” (Disclosure: Fortune magazine is owned by Time Warner (TWX).)

AT&T responded to YouTube’s report by pointing out that YouTube rated the quality of AT&T’s service in some cities where the company does not actually offer its consumer Internet service, including in New York, according to Ars Technica.

Google isn’t the first Internet company to rate the speeds offered by Internet service providers and the company even released a similar report for Canadian consumers in January. The YouTube report follows in the footsteps of Netflix’s (NFLX) “ISP Speed Index,” which rates providers in 20 different countries. In the U.S., Netflix ranks Cablevision as the fastest provider with an average speed of 3 Mbps.