Infinite Bandwidth, yes!!!! But zero latency?
A long time ago, a wise man said:
"Bandwidth is easy. Engineers build bandwidth. But latency is hard. Only God gives us latency"
And I still agree with him. I just got my 50Mbps (nominal) cable internet installed last weekend, and I've been monitoring its performance. I need to do some scripting so I can paste my measurements in here, but the summary is:
(a) Bandwidth is great. It may not always be up to the marketing claims(*), but it feels fast, and doing software updates on my Linux and MacOS systems feel faster than ever before at home.
(b) Latency is less great. It's highly variable - lots of jitter over individual seconds, lots of slow variability over longer periods - skype voice keeps up OK-ish, but I can't imagine having a decent video conference over it without being so distracted by the artefacts and the lag that I prefer to switch off the video.
That's a major gotcha for next-generation applications...
Rather than just rant (but I'll do that if invited...), I'd like to suggest a topic for discussion at the workshop:
How can we structure business incentives to network providers for future generations of consumer and business broadband to engineer them for (a) minimum latency, (b) minimum latency variation, and (c) minimum jitter?
Answers, on a postcard-sized email...