This question was cobbled together from several common e-mails this week.
Hey, Inetdaemon, Doesn’t bandwidth solve all network problems with [Skype, Facetime, Vonage, NetFlix, Hulu, YouTube, World of Warcraft (WoW)...], and push my frame rates through the roof in [choose any FPS/MMORPG]?
Answer: Not so!
Engineers use a measurement called “latency” to measure delay between endpoints in communications systems, including the Internet. High latency is bad, low latency is good. High latency indicates a problem between endpoints. This could be you and a friend across Skype, Facetime, Vonage or anything else. Problems with ‘delay’ are the real causes of ‘slowness’ and communications problems. More bandwidth will only fix issues with congestion and over-subscription, and only if you can add more bandwidth along the entire path from end-to-end. More bandwidth can’t do anything about the actual delay from the communications systems, routers, switches and the infrastructure supporting it or delay from the server. Moreover, if the “internet pipe” at the far end serving the person or site you’re trying to reach is full, their router is busy, or their servers are overloaded, there’s no benefit to upgrading your own service to higher bandwidth. Given the nature of the Internet, everyone else would also have to upgrade thier Internet connection to make your services faster to every site you use frequently.
Dear InetDaemon, Why are customers quoted different prices for broadband through an ISP? Why does 128kbps Frame Relay cost less than 256kps?
Why are leased lines and private lines so expensive? And what is the fee structure like for these kinds of services? Isn't it all the same Internet? Inquiring IT Manager
Dear InetDaemon, My Internet provider told me they are the sole seller of Internet bandwidth. Who really is the sole seller of Internet bandwidth? Where does it come from? Sincerely, Confused Internet Consumer
Internet bandwidth doesn’t have a single source or a sole seller.
The whole idea of the Internet is that it is distributed and not centralized, so there is no such thing as a ‘sole source’. All telephone, cellular, cable and satellite service providers ‘manufacture’ bandwidth when they upgrade the physical equipment in their own network and add more connections between the different pieces of equipment. These providers then sell other connections to other providers and to their customers.
So, Internet bandwidth is ‘manufactured’ everywhere and nobody has a monopoly on it, so there is no such thing as a sole source. If that’s what you’re provider is telling you, they aren’t honest. Find someone else to get your Internet from.
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