Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Google’s Dream Of Speeding Up The Internet

Technology defines today’s world. Wherever you look, you can see all sorts of technological knick-knacks and gadgets that dominate our daily lives. It is almost impossible to live without relying on these futuristic objects that make our lives comfortable and convenient but at the same time more complex and high-maintenance too. Almost all our transaction has gone digital as well. More and more aspects of human life have become computerized and we all start to wonder what is in store in the years to come.

The Internet is instrumental in making all these things happen and it virtually runs our life (inconspicuously) day in and day out. The lines separating the virtual world and real life often times blur and perhaps it will become more interconnected than it already is in the coming years. With the numerous innovations and tech gadgets that have been launched to keep us entertained and assist us in almost everything we do, it seems that the Internet itself can’t keep up with all these innovations and Google is quite well aware of it for quite some time now.

As technology continues to advance at unprecedented speed, it sometimes seems as though the internet can’t seem to keep up. If we could improve internet speeds, however, it could allow emerging technology to flourish, as well as speed up research that’s already ongoing. Engineers at Google well understand the desire for faster internet, and have taken it upon themselves to ramp it up. The company plans to achieve this by creating a new congestion control algorithm, BBR (Bottleneck Bandwidth and Round-trip propagation time). 

BBR, an algorithm that was standardized back in the 1980s, detects when a network is overwhelmed and responds by slowing down data transfers. The algorithm might not seem all that significant, but it actually plays a huge role in internet speed. BBR is currently allowing companies and individuals that use Google’s Cloud Platform to access it andthe speed that comes with it. But Google wants to take this algorithm one step further by publicly publishing it, and incorporating it into the TCP transmission standard. That move would have a ripple effect across the entire internet.


We all scream for faster Internet. It’s actually a bigger problem in developing countries where the Internet speed is as fast as that of a tortoise. It’s no joke. For more developments to take place, the Internet should be on par with what we need although it isn’t always easy considering how crowded the web has become. Hence, Google’s answer is to decongest the Internet in order to speed it up.

For example, after Google in March started using a congestion control algorithm of its own design with YouTube, it saw an speed increase of 4% worldwide — and a 14% gain in some countries, according to a blog entry.

That kind of a gain may seem small, but it represents the average boost and takes into account every single site visit. From that perspective, the boost translates into a meaningful difference.

The new congestion control algorithm, which Google calls BBR, for Bottleneck Bandwidth and Round-trip propagation time, is just another example of the search giant's push to improve network speeds, said Neal Cardwell, a senior staff software engineer at the company. Google is trying to light a fire under the tech industry and spur it to follow suit, he said.

"Google wants to help the internet get as fast as it can," Cardwell said. 


Google has always shown a keen interest in improving the web and it shouldn’t come out as a surprise to everyone knowing that Google is primarily a web-based business. Aside from developing this congestion control algorithm, they’ve also dabbled with other anti-congestion measures in the past that ultimately aims to boost Internet speed over time. The company then plans to publish this algorithm so that web developers can access it anytime they need it. They are encouraging other companies to use the BBR because by improving the web can we only come up with more daring and mind-blowing innovations the world needs today.

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