Remember the excitement you felt the first time you got online? For those of us over the age of 40, we remember quite a few years before we had instant access to every piece of information we could possibly imagine. The very first time we made that connection, launched the 56K modem and heard the exchange of information over the phone line, it was definitely exhilarating. We typed www for the first time and watched as the intended page came into view – however long it took.
Today, that excitement has faded and for millions of users, a time when the Internet wasn’t available doesn’t exist in reality or in memory. The thought of waiting for the phone to connect so you can do something online is enough to bring heart palpitations as our ability to wait for information has been eliminated by the availability of 4G LTE (News - Alert) and fiber. But even with this kind of access, we still have to wait when demand exceeds bandwidth capabilities and the demand for the next generation content delivery network (Next Gen CDN) is never more apparent.
A recent piece in The Next Web explores why the Internet “still sucks” for those who have grown accustomed to a higher performance level. The biggest thing we as users notice is web page latency simply because there are so many different apps running in the background. Websites leverage things like cookies, ads, scripts and a number of different personalization features that require several journeys back and forth over the Net before the loading of the page is complete. It also doesn’t help that the Internet is relying on decades old routing and transport protocols.
The way the Internet was designed, it can’t send data around congestion – wouldn’t that be amazing if we had Waze for Internet traffic?! But we’re not that advanced yet and instead the Internet has to send traffic along pre-determined paths that rely on rules that are directly contributing to the increase in slower speeds and continued bad connections. The Next Gen CDN is great in helping to alleviate some of these headaches, but we still experience buffering, jitter and even dropped connections.
The challenge is still upstream data. The Next Gen CDN is excellent at optimizing for downstream data, but bandwidth-constraining applications and services like file sharing, hosting, rich media, gaming and advertising continue to experience poor connections that inhibit the user experience. The goal for the next step in development is to not only change the design and the protocols, but to also better understand the bandwidth needs of the future so the next iteration of the Internet can last for years to come.
Edited by Maurice Nagle