It is no secret that internet speed matters quite a lot. It does not only make web surfing more enjoyable but it also reduces lag time in online video games and helps you combat all those pop up ads. When having troubles with internet speed, people tend to blame it on their internet providers. Providers may sometimes “throttle” internet or not provide your area with proper infrastructure. The factor that our internet speed mostly depends on is the structure of internet exchange points at the ISP level. What is so important about it is that it shortens geographical distances that data has to travel. And here it is more about it.
Internet Exchange Points
First of all, geographical distance is one of the biggest barriers when it comes to internet speed. Even the conductivity of specific cabling does not seem to be important when data has to travel so much. That is why internet exchange points can play such an important role. If internet exchange points would be located closer towards a certain place, internet in that place would be much faster. Also, how fast is one’s internet, heavily depends on the coverage of internet exchange.
These problems tend to reduce internet speed in many countries. For example, in USA, the biggest problem is where the internet exchanges are located. On the other hand, in some less developed countries, like Nigeria, the quantity of internet exchange points is what drastically slows down the internet speed. Another problem with internet in such countries is that internet traffic is sent to Europe.
How Infrastructure is the Problem
As mentioned above, infrastructure plays a very important role when it comes to internet speed. Still, internet speed is not going to get drastically improved if, for example, material of the cables would be changed. The best way internet service providers can help us boost our internet speed is investing in internet exchange points. When there is no enough internet exchange points or not enough money has been invested in the existing ones, the internet has to turn to BGP (Border Gateway Protocol). In that case BGP is responsible for sending traffic over longer distances. And bigger the distances it has to travel, slower the internet is going to be.
Last Mile Access Providers
Your local ISPs or the last mile access providers are one of the biggest reasons why internet might not be as fast as it should be. They tend to combat internet neutrality and they have the most to lose when there is much completion in the same geographical area. That is why consumers should always demand better infrastructure from their internet service providers. But still, consumers should not be too demanding as well.
First of all, the consumers should do a free internet speed test in order to learn how fast their internet actually is. Once that is done, consumers should compare their internet speed to the one promised by their internet service provider. In the case real internet speed is much lower than expected, consumers should start demanding more internet exchange points at more strategic locations. Only once there are more internet exchange points, consumers should also demand more fiber optic cables from their internet service providers.
As seen above, internet infrastructure can be one of the biggest reasons your internet is not as fast as it should be. Still, internet service providers do not have a custom of upgrading their internet exchange points or locating them better, unless demanded by consumers. So if you notice your internet is too slow and you are having troubles with it, you should definitely contact your internet service provider and let them know you are struggling with your internet speed. With more internet exchange points which are located properly, we would all struggle much less with our internet speed and we would finally be able to surf the web like we are supposed to.