It is nice to know that we at LIRNEasia have been ahead of the curve on Broadband QoSE, including on understanding it as more than simply download speed. Professor Gonsalves’s paper on the subject is here.
The NYT today carried a story that says many of the things we have been talking about for the past two years.
Tracking the speed of Internet service is becoming more and more important as everyone asks the Internet to do more than handle e-mail messages and Web pages. A few lines of text can take its time arriving, but applications sending voice calls or streaming video become unusable if there is too much delay in delivery.
Some Web sites and software packages let users test the speed of data through their Internet service provider, or I.S.P. All the providers offer a glimpse at the quality of the connection, but that information is just one bit of data; each new request for a Web site or a file involves dozens of computers, and any of them could be a weak link.
“Even in Web browsing, pages are getting more complicated,” Professor Odlyzko said. “You click on a link and you end up setting dozens of connections. Ads are being served. You end up doing a database lookup. Any extra latency gets compounded because you have many, many stages.”
The difference between the QoSE problem in the US and the rest of the world is that they live practically inside the Internet cloud. The entire discussion about what the ISP is responsible for does not apply in our parts, where the ISP has to get us to the Internet cloud through Singapore or wherever. ISP’s responsibility is not limited to the ISP domain, but extends to the first landing in the continental US (a point we took from the Singapore IDA). When we used the AT Tester in N America, we tested it using sites in Europe.