Will coronavirus crash the internet?
4:35

Will coronavirus crash the internet?

Online
With people cooped up in self-quarantine because of the coronavirus, everyone is way more online than usual. But can the Internet handle the load? [MUSIC] I'm not an expert on broadband Internet, so I spoke to someone who is. What we're looking at now is everybody being home all the time. And using a lot of different devices that use a lot of Bandwidth all at once. The networks were not designed for this kind of a use People have been saying that Europe is basically where we will be. But two weeks ahead of us France has asked Netflix to downgrade the resolution of their video traffic so that their video volume is taking up less capacity. And apparently Netflix has agreed to do that. And in Spain they've actually asked Internet users to use responsibly so that there is been with capacity available for critical applications to go through. Because he's exchanged points are just not designed to take the kind of surges that are happening now. So how might the United States be affected? Well, it all depends on where you live and what kind of internet connection you've got. We're gonna see some places where this may just be a minor inconvenience where if you're on a video call, maybe you turn off the video and that solves the problem. But we're going to see other places where there's really going to be a lot of pain and where it's gonna be very hard for people to work or do telemedicine or distance learning given the state of the network. To understand how different areas will be impacted, we've got to identify the potential choke points in our internet infrastructure, the places where all that extra traffic is likely to get backed up. You have to think of this as a bunch of discrete parts. So first you have the Wi Fi access point, there is a very limited set of frequencies. That can be used for WiFi. And the more devices that are near each other trying to use it, the more congested it gets. So, if you are in an apartment building or in a townhouse. Said development or any place where people are stacked on top of each other. If you turn on your laptop you will see not just your own wifi access point but you know a list of all these others. And even though you can't connect to them, they still make noise that congests the channel. So the more of those We bring together the more congested,um,that gets and the slower your speed is going to be.Even if you're paying for a gigabit connection, it slows down,ah,before it can hit your computer.>> The second point we're likely to see congestion is in something called the last mile,which refers to the infrastructure that brings the internet into your physical space. In this case, the amount of interruption you're likely to see is largely dependent on the kind of connection you have. Fiber and modern day cable networks are generally okay. Cable networks that are older may have some problems. DSL networks may have some problems fixed wireless networks that are common in rural areas. Have limitations and if your wire was only customer you are likely to run into very significant problems. Plus those networks does not designed for heavy traffic in the same way that wire line network are. And they are particularly not deigned for the kind of heavy two way traffic that we are talking about. The last place where we're likely to see problems is in something called the Interconnection Point. This is the place where you take all of the traffic that's coming into the local neighborhood and where it goes off into the broader internet, the cloud, whatever you want to call it, when traffic starts to increase and kind of the normal course of events You see it coming and you expand out the capacity. But if there's a sudden rush of capacity, it's like a tidal wave hitting a sink drain. It just clogs it just can't get through. We really need to be gathering information on this. There's no obligation of these companies to make their numbers available. It's no one's fault if the networks have problems with the crisis like this. We couldn't have been prepared for it until it happened, but it will be all of our fault if we don't learn from it and prepare for the next crisis. As always thanks so much for watching. Stay safe out there everybody, see you nex time.

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