[LINK] Forum on high speed bandwidth in Australia - this Thursday

Karl Auer kauer at biplane.com.au
Mon May 4 10:11:44 AEST 2009

On Mon, 2009-05-04 at 09:22 +1000, Darrell Burkey wrote:
> Very cool. But I'll ask you the same thing I've asked many others. What
> good is high speed bandwidth to the average Australian when pricing is
> based on volume? We simply won't be able to afford it.

Speed is not all about volume.

A gamer, for example, needs low latency and low jitter[1] - not volume.
In general, anything interactive needs the same. I do support on remote
machines; I don't need volume, but I do need low latency.

Web usage is the same - having pages appear smartly makes browsing the
web far more enjoyable. If you are using something like Google to
research a topic, it also makes you a lot more productive.

Sure there are some uses where volume is the key - people who fill their
bandwidth with torrent downloads or whatever, but for a lot of people,
major downloads are relatively rare. When they do happen - (a Microsoft
service pack, a new version of Ubuntu, etc) it's a lot nicer if they
happen fast.

Fast networks also generally mean better utilisation. Simplistically
put, if my packet is occupying the link for less time, the chances are
greater that your packet will not be delayed.

So while some people have volume requirements, a great many don't. Speed
just makes the whole net usage experience far more pleasant and thus far
more accessible.

To misquote Gordon Gecko, "Speed is good" :-)

Regards, K.

[1] "Speed" is a tricky term. Bandwidth is the amount of data that can
travel at once, latency is how long it takes to get there. Jitter is
variations in latency. A Formula 1 racecar has very low latency, 'cos it
gets from point A to point B very fast, but it has very low bandwidth
because it carries only one person at a time. A bus, on the other hand,
has very good bandwidth, but much worse latency - it moves a lot of
people at once, but it takes a long time for them to arrive. For a big
download, you want bandwidth and probably don't care about latency - it
may take a few seconds to start arriving, but when it arrives it arrives
in bulk. In networks, high bandwidth *usually* means low latency, but
not always - a satellite link, for example, has high bandwidth and high
latency, because although the packets move very fast, they have a
looooong way to go - all the way up to a satellite and back.

Karl Auer (kauer at biplane.com.au)                   +61-2-64957160 (h)
http://www.biplane.com.au/~kauer/                  +61-428-957160 (mob)

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