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Is QoS on the Internet a con?

The principle of quality of service is that some IP packets our prioritised over others. The analogy is letting some cars into the fast lane so they get there quicker.

The problem is, says Geoff Huston, Chief Scientist at APNIC, that creates congestion in the other lanes. Instead, build another lane – add extra capacity and let everyone go fast.

But you can’t always add extra capacity, says Layer 10’s Paul Brooks, making a repeat appearance on CrossTalk. Access networks tend to be the bottleneck and the point where traffic has to be prioritised.

So, does this mean the slower speeds promised by the coalition’s broadband plan make QoS more important for the delivery of video and interactive apps like teleconferencing? Perhaps. Although Geoff Huston says fibre to the premises is the real answer, there. It adds a lot of extra lanes to his highway.

The need for QoS on the Internet is given some rigorous discussion this week – along with a quick look at the Murdoch conspiracy that’s doing the rounds at the moment. And the Prime Minister is amongst the theorists. Ho hum!

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