Internet browsing, even if it is not, will feel instantaneous TOU

Internet browsing, even if it is not, will feel instantaneous


Internet browsing, even if it is not, will feel instantaneous

Researchers say the microwave network, which connects 120 major U.S. cities, can share and communicate with people over a wide distance online in real time. Credit: Bruce Max

If a corona virus infection had driven your life online, you probably would have been there: you use video chat to get to work or connect with distant friends. No matter how many frequencies you have, the delay between one person speaking and the other hearing the words, you will keep talking to each other.

Tap Play on your streaming service will cause an annoying delay and your movie or TV show will always load. Or you are about to reach a new level in the video game, but your controller does not record your moves in a timely manner.

That fraction of a second – less than a blink of an eye – is called a network delay. A signal is how many milliseconds it takes to go from your computer to the server and back. The longer the distance, the longer it will take to travel.

Milli seconds does not seem like a big deal. But it can feel like wandering in the mud on the internet. This can cause users to lose interest or move their business elsewhere.

Google has found that if search results drop by one-fourth to one-tenth of a second, their users carry less than eight million searches a day. According to Amazon, even small delays – one tenth of a second – can cost the company 1% of sales, shocking hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

Duke computer scientist Bruce Max thinks we can do better. A few years ago, he and his colleagues decided to take on a challenge: creating a fast-paced internet of light.

They wondered if they could get data that could go there quickly and there, and could they immediately feel that web browsing was smooth and seamless?

The group presented their approach on April 6 at the 19th USENIX Symposium on Network Systems Design and Implementation (NSDI ’22) in Randon, Washington.

In a project co-authored by Brighton Godfrey at the University of Illinois, Gregory Laughlin at Yale and Ankit Singla at ETH Zurich, the team envisions expanding across the United States a network that responds 10 to 100 times faster than the normal Internet.

If hired in 120 large cities, it would give them the option of connecting wide distances in real time, as if 85% of Americans were in the same room.

The problem, Max said, is that today’s Internet is not optimal for speed.

With respect to the speed of light, data can theoretically be transmitted over 300,000 kilometers per second in a clip. It’s 670 million miles per hour.

At that speed, 2,800 miles between Los Angeles and New York City could be covered by Internet traffic in 15 milliseconds.

But the truth is very slow. Maggs and his team have shown that even moving small amounts of data over the Internet – watching a webpage – often takes 37 to 100 times longer than you expect.

“It has to be fast, doesn’t it?” Said Max.

They say a major culprit behind the delay is the way Internet traffic is being directed.

Every time you check your email, search for information on Google, or scroll through social media, hundreds of thousands of miles of buried fiber optic cables, thin glass fibers are bundled together and the data is transmitted and transmitted in pulses. Light.

But this system may be ineffective. Buried cables have to zigzag around the mountains and cross the terrain while following the roads and railroad tracks, twists and turns and spending precious time.

Internet traffic from Sweden to Croatia — about 1,300 miles[1,300 miles]away, can be reached via the first 8,000-mile sea route through a router in New York City.

“Fiber paths do not follow a straight line between two places,” Max said.

Internet providers often lead the data in a cheap way, not fast, and are reluctant to save money.

“That means the path will still be roundabout,” Max said.

There is one more thing that hinders it. When people talk about the speed of light, it usually means the speed of light in a vacuum. When light passes through a medium other than a vacuum such as air, water or glass, it slows down.

The speed of light in a vacuum is 300,000 kilometers per second, but less than two-thirds the speed of silica glass, made of ordinary optical fiber cables.

“All of these things come together and multiply together,” Max said. That’s why — when it comes time to respond on information superhighways — the cosmic speed limit is far from real. But researchers found a small corner approaching:

In the early 2010s, a custom-built network was set up between the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the New Jersey Stock Exchange to shave one in a thousand shares of the time it took for financial traders to pass data back and forth, crossing approximately 700- six state milestones.

That time was invisible to humans. But even if trading companies are given an edge over their competitors in the stock market, getting data there a millisecond earlier can make a difference between profit or loss.

Analyzing this specialized network, the team wondered if similar approaches could be used to reduce Internet delays across the country.

Part of the benefit of a trading network lies in how data is carried, Max said.

Instead of buried cables, microwave radio transmissions are used to carry data in the air, reducing trading hours, where signals can travel 50% faster than light through fiber.

It also saves time through network shortcuts. Unlike fiber cables, which have to cross barriers as they follow the ground layer, microwave signals do not bend – they are transmitted in a straight line. This creates shortcuts, allowing you to zip back and forth between New Jersey and Windy City at eight thousand shares per second.

In experiments, the researchers found that the microwave-based network of financial traders was at a reliable speed over fiber, even in bad weather and weakening the signal between towers.

Technology is decades old. The team’s research shows that towers equipped with antennas that transmit microwave signals can be built in the largest cities in the United States or Europe and can reduce lag by as much as 5% at the speed of light.

Considering an imaginary budget of 3,000 towers spaced approximately 40 to 60 miles away, the team found the best way to make signals from tower to tower without going through very narrow paths, such as mountains or buildings or trees.

They found that by routing the data in straightforward, direct ways, it was possible to get the request to the server three times faster by clicking on the link to the website.

And at a price estimated at 81 cents per gigabyte, the potential value of such a network would be much higher than its price tag. Group cost-benefit analytics For a company like Google, delivering search results just 200 milliseconds faster would bring in an additional $ 87 million a year.

But the most exciting thing about this is that researchers say it is possible for people separated by hundreds of miles to feel like they are communicating and sharing information online in real time.

Studies show that delays of less than 30 milliseconds cause most people to go unnoticed. If scientists could reduce regression times to less than that, they could make them almost incomprehensible.

“We are not saying that the entire Internet can run at the speed of light,” Max said. This is because when the microwave is faster than the transmission fiber, in terms of carrying capacity, it cannot compete.

But for time-consuming applications, such a network would reduce latency at a lower cost than existing services.

For online gamers who regularly send and receive data to play together in real time, guiding traffic through their network can reduce delays by a third of what is possible on the Internet today.

In the case of his musician wife, Max says he and his colleagues on the West Coast can play synchronously on the internet and listen to each other as if they were in the same concert hall without noticing the delay.

“It’s like deciding when to use the U.S. Post Office and when to use the Federal Express,” Max said. “There is a big difference in cost and performance. Delay is when you have to pick the really important things.”

If you are streaming movies, you may not mind. But to Max, who played multiplayer online games as a child, he said, “When I send my command to a gaming server, I have to press F and shoot my pacers there so that it can go as fast as I can.”

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                                        How rain, wind, heat and other weather can affect your internet connection
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                                                                                            <strong>More info:</strong>
                                            Depopam Bhattacherjee et al., CISP: A Speed-Off-Light Internet Service Provider, (2022) <a href="">Available as a PDF</a>.


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