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What Countries Will Win the Internet Performance Olympics?


Senior Product Marketing Manager

The Opening Ceremony for the Rio Olympics kicks off tonight with nearly half a million tourists expected to descend on the city for two weeks of sports, camaraderie and celebration. And with them will come as many smartphones and other connected devices. These devices will be accessing favorite apps , services and data from all over the world. However, many of their most often used services must be accessed from in-home country and ISP delivered services.

So with an eye to measuring the digital experience of hundreds of thousands of tourists to get back to their home services from nearly every country in the world, we wanted to find out whether the country you come from impacts the digital experience for those lucky tourists in Brazil.

We used our Internet Intelligence (II) tool, part of a suite of services we call Internet Performance Management (IPM), to measure the connection speeds from a variety of countries from around the world to determine how the digital experience might change depending on your home country while at the Games.

Note that while Geography is not the precursor to internet performance, the closeness of connection between one’s home country and Brazil certainly impacts overall internet performance.

For instance, New Yorkers would have a much better digital experience of the games in comparison to the those spectators cheering on their nation who have travelled all the way from Sydney; as you can see from the infographic, the internet performance to New York from Rio is almost twice as fast as it is from Rio to Sydney. Internet performance events, of course, can also affect performance but we wanted to establish a baseline to compare typical performance.

Below is a sample of some of the data for folks who traveled to Rio trying to get to services at home:

RIO2016 Infographic v1

Rio to:

  • New York: 216 ms
  • San Francisco: 264 ms
  • London: 287 ms
  • Paris: 290 ms
  • Tokyo: 386 ms
  • Sydney: 453 ms

So while those attending the games in Brazil will be connected to the internet via the same infrastructure (through roaming and WiFi), when it comes to connecting to services hosted back home, end-users from different countries will have a different digital experiences when accessing content.

But what do these numbers really mean?  A request for access to a web page hosted in New York will at a minimum be 216 ms (slightly less than a quarter of a second). That web page may have multiple requests – say 10 distinct requests.  When you add these requests up, the web page load is now 2+ seconds.

The business implications of this are pretty clear. Slow web services can lead to customer dissatisfaction, page abandonments, and ultimately less revenue. So how can we improve these connections to ensure businesses are managing internet performance and delivering the best possible experience for their own customers?

To improve internet performance through the public internet, the first thing any business needs is clear visibility into their connection. If there are latencies or they are using a poor-performing cloud provider, they will never know this without visibility into their internet infrastructure. Visibility of their internet infrastructure will also enable them to reroute traffic should issues arise (and assuming they are using a multi-cloud configuration), balance load during peak times and allow their service to run 24/7 regardless of failover. Having visibility into public internet assets also allows companies to effectively navigate expansion plans or evaluate the partners they are currently working with to improve performance or save spend on providers that are not meeting performance thresholds.

But businesses – especially with customers and partners all around the world – also need to be able to control their internet connections. In the event of an outage, a latency issue or just to repath as part of an ongoing audit process, having visibility into the internet must be combined with control over path routes.

The ability to monitor and have visibility into the internet is the first step of a smart IPM approach; the second step is having the ability to control and optimize connections to ensure the best performing, most efficient internet, and providing a magnificent digital experience.

So the bottom line… visitors to the Olympics will undoubtedly have a once-in-a-lifetime experience. However, depending on their home country, their digital experience will be much different (and not always good). Food for thought for all companies that want to maintain the best-possible digital experience for customers.

Michael Kane is a Senior Product Marketing Manager at Dyn. Michael leads the product marketing team in educating the industry about Dyn's suite of Internet Performance products. You can connect with Michael on LinkedIn.