Connectivity struggles with more than just speeds

Posted by Dan Pope on Jan 6, 2012 09:57:35 AM

Ok, so I live out in the country and I’m in the privileged position of getting almost 3Mb/s on my ADSL line at home.

But is speed the only problem that rural communities (and councils) face? I’m not convinced, yes it takes me an age (relatively) to download updates and programs but I can equally go for a walk (or the pub) whilst I wait for whatever Microsoft update I need.

But streaming, that’s where my problems lies, or should I say, any need for constant low latency connectivity to a server, now most people will think why is that important? Let me explain: The reason we all need more speed is for the user experience at home or in the office. Part of that user experience is how quickly can I get a piece of data from over there, to me at my computer. But if you are needing a constant stream of data say of video and sound, say around the 27th of July this year, and you keep dropping packets you’re not going to be a happy user.

I’m pointing out the problem of a recreational user but what if the your talking about a home user or small office using Citrix or a thin client solution, this is where the problem often gets very worrying. For those of you who don’t know, as soon as a packet is dropped on a Citrix session, the client software has a bit of a moment and decides it needs to check the connection to the central server, meaning the user hopes that they saved the last piece of work they were doing and logs back on. This is often the problem of latency and packet loss, unfortunately for the end user and ISP there is a whole host of things that can cause this. From dodgy old routing equipment (on the ISP’s core network) to the end user not having a good enough CPE.

So are there solutions to this issue? Well the short answer is “yes” , however the issues are often specific to each end user due to the amount of things that can affect the latency. If you are having problems and you don’t use our connections, come have a chat with one of our consultants who should be able to help.

On a final point  (not an intentionally smug way, but…) I was lucky enough to upgrade my line at home to a BURST connection last year, so high latency and packet loss can’t be my excuse as to why I’m so rubbish at Battlefield 3!

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