Google’s Making the Internet Go Faster
Back in March, Google began using a new version of what’s known as a congestion control algorithm for YouTube. These controls typically work by slowing speeds down when networks become congested, allowing them to catch up. According to a Google Cloud Platform blog entry, this recent measure resulted in a 4% worldwide speed increase and a 14% gain for users in some countries.
In the grand scheme of things this may seem inconsequential, but these relatively small wins add up over time. Plus, considering the scale that YouTube has, it really is a meaningful difference.
Google’s BBR algorithm, which stands for “Bottleneck Bandwidth and RTT (round-trip time),” is an algorithm for optimizing how network servers handle TCP connections, the basic communication channel for exchanging data on the Internet. It has gained huge ground since it was integrated with Google Cloud, the cloud hosting platform offered by Google to thousands of companies and which serves millions of websites on a daily basis.
“Google is trying to light a fire under the tech industry and spur it to follow suit, said Neal Cardwell, a senior staff software engineer. “Google wants to help the internet get as fast as it can,” he added.
Removing network congestion and speeding up the Internet would be beneficial for just about every tech company, especially those in markets that have spotty or slow connections. Mobile networks also stand to benefit greatly from any potential efficiency gains.
The next step, said Cardwell, is to push BBR to be incorporated into the TCP transmission standard that underlies the entire internet. Just as they did with Chrome web browser, Google will make the new algorithm publicly available so any developer can use it.