India’s Internet connectivity sucks! Do Youtube videos play without stuttering pauses for you? Aha!
But, don’t worry, Sundar Pichai’s Google has a plan to fix that.
Well, to be honest, Google’s trying to fix slow Internet speeds all over the globe by doing what it does best — finding an ingenious solution to supercharge the Internet traffic lanes.
Believe it or not, but the Internet’s close to 40 years old, and a lot of its underlying technology isn’t fully updated. One of which is the traffic congestion protocol, an algorithm that acts to minimize traffic jams on the Internet’s data highways. Most of it is ancient tech dating back to the 1980s, when the early Internet was just plain text. But the Internet is now dominated by multimedia content, and streaming all that video chokes up the Internet lanes and throws the old congestion protocol into a tailspin.
This is what Google’s trying to change fundamentally, with its new Bottleneck Bandwidth and Round-trip propagation time algorithm, or just BBR for short.
But unlike some of Google’s previous efforts, it wants to standardize BBR so that companies that run the Internet’s backbone can adopt it so that everyone benefits from the speedier data transfer rates.
In the past, Google had applied a version of BBR to speed up Youtube videos between 4% to 14% worldwide — which is a huge gain in terms of video transfer speeds. It’s also developed the QUIC protocol (adopted by major Internet companies) to speed up video speeds worldwide, and has supercharged its Chrome browser (through new algorithms) to fetch data from the Internet faster than other browsers.
Google will soon release the BBR algorithm so that any developer could incorporate its learnings and develop speed-efficient services. But the search giant’s ultimate plan is to incorporate BBR technology at the TCP level of Internet.