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Next Level Internet Means Easily Diagnosing Slowdowns, Disruptions

May 22, 2017

One of the problems with today’s Internet is the unpredictable quality of experience and the inability to really determine why that spinning wheel comes up when you are watching, for example, Netflix.

“We need to begin to find ways to link quality of experience and its impairment to the underlying causes so we can disentangle them.… That’s a question that fascinates me,” inductee David Clark said in a recent interview with the Internet Hall of Fame. “If we know what happened, we might be able to fix it.”

When it comes to home networks, for instance, he says, it can be almost impossible at times to figure out what is causing slowdown or disruptions.

“It could be your ISP. It could be a modem that’s about to fail. It could be congestion. It could be a Netflix problem. It could be the link into your house,” he noted.

Clark relayed a story about his own Internet service: calling Comcast to his house to try to diagnose his network issues.

They sent out a technician who turned out to be “profoundly good,” and he figured out there was a two-foot piece of bad coaxial cable.

“The idea of some slight impairment in this cable, manifesting itself as a Netflix spinning wheel— how do you trace that back? How do you get that fixed? This is what we are dealing with and what we have to deal with to take the Internet to the next level,” he said.

“Then we have to get the Internet deployed to the developing world.”

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