Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Bandwidth Soon Will Not be an Issue; Latency Will be the Problem

Pretty soon, consumer access bandwidth is not going to be a bottleneck of any sort. One example: Comcast is upgrading virtually its entire customer base to gigabit speeds by the end of 2016, with some customers able to buy service at 2 Gbps.

The rest of the market is going to move with Comcast.

But latency is going to leap to the top of problems affecting end user experience. That means we will be turning attention back towards the edge of the network, as that is one way to reduce the latency of cloud-based services.

For many of you, latency likely already is the most-noticeable feature of your Internet experience. If you do lots of writing, using a cloud-based document processor, you understand the difference between a locally-resident app and an app being fetched from a distant location.

Ironically, latency is among the issues packet prioritization addresses directly. Edge caching also makes a difference. Sooner or later, “network neutrality” is going to run full on into the other values that must be balanced, including latency.

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