Posted Dec 12, 2011 11:49 UTC (Mon) by jlokier
In reply to: Physics
Parent article: Bufferbloat: Dark Buffers in the Internet (ACM Queue)
1 second ping time is just a plain bug/a joke.
I often use cellular internet with a marginal signal that is oversubscribed, and 5 second ping times are quite common. Even 20 seconds at some times.
As these are ping times to the cellular network access point, from an otherwise idle handset, it's quite possible this time cannot be improved by simply dropping packets early at any stage.
In other words, it may not be a bufferbloat problem - and it may not be a bug either, if the RF link is simply too marginal and oversubscribed. As far as I can tell, these timings depend greatly on the strength of RF signal, and on the time of day.
In this case the way forward looks like newer cellular technology. We all look hopefully at 4G/LTE, and (would be nice) better cross-carrier RF diversity.
Even so, it's not clear that "speed of light" is an achievable latency on fully-subscribed large area wireless networks with large numbers of moving devices.
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