28 July, Bangalore
The Mobile Monday (MoMo) July event was addressed by Bruno Goveas, head of marketing and product management at Akamai Technologies Inc., a company that develops software for delivery of Web content and applications. His talk focused on the challenges of delivering rich media and applications over the Internet.
Bruno debunked popular belief that subscribing to high-speed Internet connectivity leads to a proportionately better user experience. Oftentimes, a higher data rate plan on paper does not guarantee higher quality of usage. The unregulated middle tier of the larger Internet network is cited to be one of the major reasons for this. Fragmented and crowded with too many providers, this tier aggravates latency, a phenomenon that affects data packets traversing from source to destination, and therefore, the throughput. Let’s face it, we do not have control of how many hops our data packets take before reaching us. Because of this problem, user experience while listening to streaming music or watching streaming video may not be great. Even different parts of a Web page can load at different rates.
While the first mile (tier 1 Internet service providers, or ISPs,) and the last mile are scaling rapidly, the middle tier is not getting the same attention and not scaling, thereby creating a bottleneck in this Internet expressway. The next time you sign up for a higher data rate last mile access plan and yet remain unsatisfied from a user experience point of view—you might know why!
The ensuing discussions, however, suggested some answers: Specific content delivery networks, content caching, mirroring and optimizing routing are some of the methods to overcome the issue.
Now, does this make you look at your last mile ISP in a different light?
S.R. Raja is the president and co-founder trustee of the Mobile Monday Bangalore Trust.