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Cloudflare maintenance in Atlanta datacenter

This post is a few minutes from the start of this event, in between 2023-08-17 05:00 and 2023-08-18 22:00 UTC, see .  If you use Cloudflare and watch the scheduled maintenance activity start or kicked in, you'd notice that resources got a blip, just for a second. They went out and a refreshed would make those affected resources return and its noticeable for websites.  In our end, everything seemed to be working fine, with a little, lag, if your eyes are set on to your traffic right now.  Here, we can see it's okay overall. Right?

Truth on international broadband internet, "subscribers' bandwidth" and transit

There are differences in our understanding of internet connection. Depending on who is talking or conveying it.

Even internet service providers (ISP) and telecommunications people may miss the crux of the internet simply because they intentionally do it or not aware at all. They are focused on making a sell. So is in general, it applies, to technology vendors.

Broadband is seen as high-speed internet connection which uses physical and wireless mediums. These are copper, fiber cable and wireless, 4G/5G (mobile and dedicated devices available) and satellite.

It may matter which medium is subscribed to but not really as it will, at the end, be dependent on the bandwidth and “speed” being provided for us by our telco. That’s one truth, can easily be digested for and by our regular, non-tech savvy subscribers or end-users. When we talk to telco sales and customer service people, we don’t hear from them this. What they tell us is the bandwidth and never mention, not a bit, about the minimum speed that everyone may get when their network is busy. Meaning there are considered peak hours in any location every single day or during some seasons that network performance, regardless of the connection medium and subscribed bandwidth, may slowdown. 

We may have accustomed ourselves of the speed test result showing how our connection is performing. The question is, our connection is already on turtle motion, and yet when we use those tools, it is still on high speed. Another measure is some applications we use for work is lagging while Youtube didn’t even budge. That’s on our telco and content providers and if any agreement has been inked due to that particular access.   

Our subscribed bandwidth is not all. Our local telco are also internet subscribers themselves else they would not be able to get our access to get through our favorite internet or digital services i.e. email, messaging etcetera.

Our biggest local telco have to enable their internet transit through one or more tier-1 networks. There are only a few dozen worldwide. They could be getting from any international or regional players, but they could also make a mixture of those, trying to assure local subscriber that they can never be cutoff in the internet. For multinational companies, this is a very important consideration in their internet subscription. Depending on available facility from the tier-1 network, a telco may subscribe up to 100 gigabit per second per port or circuit with a minimum, say 10Gbps. The small telco may only get the megabit offering.  

An overall transit, from local telco can be used to measure how they are doing. It could also be a reason for slowdown especially when everyone of their subscriber is busy. 

How do we read our speed test result and associate the telco transit facility in our own subscribed internet bandwidth?

When we use speed test tool, such server or tool is usually within the same local telco or local peer (usually other local telco) network. That will say, no matter how our connection crawls, especially when a service is being served or located in the other part of world, our speed test result with not correlate to the reality of the traffic we make to that part of the world.  

We may be promised a 500Mbps bandwidth but given the international transit facilities, that may seem impractical to a local telco. Both in technology and commercial contexts.

The industry and regulators can do better by softening the hype in marketing and get serious to customer protection.

Curious if there is even a better choice? Leased line. The bandwidth subscribed is the same and it is dedicated to the traffic created within and itself. It's also easier to monitor if the subscribed bandwidth is real.

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