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Why “Internet Weather” Isn’t Going Anywhere and What It Means For Remote Work

PublishedNov 03, 2021BySubspace Team
If 2021 was the year that our online/offline lives officially became inseparable then 2022 is shaping up to be the year we demand a network that can actually handle that blended experience.
Real-time applications, while always important, have become nearly indispensable in our everyday lives. Our dependency on video chat, live stream events, and collaboration tools is increasing rapidly, but as the demands on remote and virtual work go up so does the need for networking. Outages due to “internet weather” are quickly turning even more painful.
The reason? A hard truth about the internet: it wasn’t built for real-time traffic.
We recently wrote a piece for IEEE Spectrum looking at how latency and not volume is the critical link in the underlying infrastructure.
“The traditional emphasis on pushing more data through the network ignores all the things that cause latency—issues like instability, geographic distance, or circuitous paths. This is why you can have a Wi-Fi connection of 100 megabits per second and still have a choppy Zoom call. When that happens, the network elements connecting you to the others in your call aren't delivering a consistent performance.”
That problem is apparent in a number of areas, but it’s hard to think of a more painful one than that of enterprises adjusting to remote work.
“Enterprises have tried to avoid bad Internet weather by building private networks using technologies such as SD-WAN (software-defined wide area networking) and MPLS (multiprotocol label switching). However, these methods work only when an entire workforce is reporting to a handful of centralized offices. If large numbers of employees are working from home, each home has to be treated as a branch office, making the logistics too complex and costly.”
One thing that every real-time application has in common: when “internet weather” flares up and becomes cloudy, end-users head elsewhere. And, both customers and employees are becoming more vocal than ever about publicly putting voice/video chat and collaboration apps on blast, too.
For developers, engineers, and IT leaders the need is clear: using a network like Subspace leads to significantly lower latency than the traditional internet, which translates into increased Quality of Service (QoS), Quality of Experience (QoE), and remote work that actually works.

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