Friday, March 8, 2013

Sandvine: Netflix now responsible for 33% of Internet traffic throughout North America

According to Betsy Isaacson of Huffpost, the company isn't any happier about slow Internet Service Providers than its customers are. Hence its new websbite for comparing Netflix streaming speeds across ISPs both nationally and internationally...
In January, the company announced it would begin streaming Super-HD and 3D movies -- but only to customers whose ISPs supported the formats. Subscribers to services like Cablevision and Google Fiber were given new, 3D options while subscribers to other, more intransigent ISPs (like Time Warner Cable and AT&T) were encouraged to contact their Internet providers.
The company is probably delighted with with the options available to Netflix subscribers in Kansas City, home of the world's fastest home internet service, Google Fiber.
For $70 a month, the company offers Kansas City residents a 1-gigabit Internet line...about 150 times faster than the average American broadband speed of 6.7 Mbps...
     There’s also a “free” plan: After you pay a $300 construction fee—which you can split into 12 payments of $25—Google will provide your home with a 5-Mbps Internet line for “at least seven years,” and probably indefinitely. (Legally, the company needed to provide an end date for service.)
     ...For about the same fee that many Americans currently pay for cable, Google is offering Internet speeds that, until now, were available only to big companies for thousands of dollars a month. of Casas’ assistants loaded up Google Fiber’s speed test page. A few seconds later, we saw the astounding results: The computer was getting 938.24 Mbps download speeds, and uploads were at 911.67 Mbps. By comparison, my AT&T U-Verse home Internet line—which costs me about $60 a month, only slightly less than Google Fiber’s 1-GB plan—gets downloads of about 22 Mbps and uploads of 3 Mbps. Google’s download speeds are 42 times faster than mine and its uploads are 303 times faster. When I saw those numbers, I had to stifle a few tears.
Casas’ assistant pulled up a high-definition video on YouTube. It started playing immediately. Then he opened another browser tab and launched another 1080p video. Then another and another and another—he kept going until he had five videos playing simultaneously. (He’d muted the sound.) Next he clicked on each tab and fast-forwarded each video to a random spot in the middle. They started playing from that spot instantly, with none of them sputtering or slowing in any way.
     ...Unbeknownst to most techies in Silicon Valley, Kansas City has a thriving startup scene... Nick Budidharma, is a gamer who just graduated from high school and is starting a multiplayer game hosting service
     ... Budidharma says that he doesn’t spend as much time thinking about which pictures to upload to Facebook, as there’s almost no upload delay—“I just throw them all up there.” He’s also noticed a huge improvement in multiplayer games. In the first-person shooter Counter-Strike, “there’s a thing called peeker’s advantage—if you quickly peek around a corner that someone else is already looking down, the person with the better latency will see the other person first,” Budidharma says. With Google Fiber, that “can be close to a 1-second advantage—I can see people a little faster than they can see me. And I’ve noticed that I’ve been consistently scoring five or 10 kills higher than I normally do.”
     Tangentially related: the Everything's Up To Date In Kansas City number from the 1955 film version of Oklahoma. The superlatively cerebral choreography of Agnes de Mille starts at about the 2:24 mark. Yes, Agnes was related to famed director Cecil B. de Mille — she was his niece.


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