What the heck’s wrong with the Internet?

What’s wrong with the Internet? It’s a common cry, despite increasing bandwidth availability.

When talking about domestic and most small business connections, three effects are increasingly combined together to generate a negative impact on user experience.

Population Density

Population density is increasing. Many sites, particularly in urban areas are being redeveloped. Dwelling density is increasing, putting more and more subscribers between the user and the local telephone exchange. This effect worsens exponentially as distance from the exchange increases.

Device Density

Device density is increasing. Only a few years ago the average household had just one computer connected to the Internet. These days every household has multiple Internet-enabled devices, mostly connected via wireless network. In their default configurations these devices ‘talk’ constantly to the Internet, reporting back to software vendors, downloading updates, synching files with cloud-based file sharing services, and so on. Devices usually postpone downloading on users’ roaming mobile plans, waiting until the device is connected to a local wireless network before downloading. At business sites, users’ mobile devices now often out-number traditional workstations. It’s not uncommon, for example, to see iPhone background tasks consuming more data than productivity applications.

Bandwidth Requirements

Application bandwidth requirements are increasing. The availability of Internet services that assume high bandwidth outstrips the availability of bandwidth itself. Multimedia vendors in particular are selling their services based on the assumption that high bandwidth is available. From TV and games channels to Netflix, subscribers are encouraged to use services before they have the bandwidth to reliably support those services. Use of these services not only gives them a poor experience but further compromises the experience for other users in the local area.

Internet service providers offering subscribers ‘unlimited’ downloads exacerbate the situation. Subscribers take this as a license to download and/or stream constantly. The same ISP’s don’t have enough bandwidth beyond the local exchange to handle the traffic generated, especially at peak times.


In a nutshell, these conditions lead to what is commonly known as contention. Imagine your house is at the end of the street and the water main enters at the other end. When everyone in the street takes a shower, the water pressure at your end of the street slows to a trickle. The service is contended. The same thing happens when all the subscribers between your premises and the local phone exchange are online at once, downloading, streaming, gaming, torrenting or whatever.

At Baw Baw IT we only support business-to-business. We don’t sell highly-contended, unlimited Internet plans like cut-price consumer-grade ISP’s do. Our wholesale providers don’t sell or support unlimited plans. This means we can ensure that bandwidth is always available for our business customers.

Contact Baw Baw IT or call 1300 01 66 73 today to talk to us about business-grade Internet for your business.

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