Endeavor Digital, Inc.

Digital Content Publishing and Distribution

Who should be blamed for internet congestion?

Image courtesy of dan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of dan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

At Endeavor Digital, we treat our customers with respect and fairness.  We want every customer to have the best experience possible.  We’d like to believe that all companies operate with that goal in mind, that their leaders know this approach is the best way to build a loyal customer base and grow the company.  Realistically, we must acknowledge that not everyone approaches business that way, especially after reading this article.  The way the involved companies choose to approach business, along with the impacts of upcoming changes in the way the internet is managed and governed, means changes are on the way.  The effects of those changes may be nothing short of enormous, with the distinct possibility of profoundly negative impacts to the customer experience and the ability to deliver digital content to your customers with a high-quality experience.

The article discusses a study of internet traffic congestion which found the problems are often sporadic, but can be significant and last for months at a time.  Let me say that again – months!  This article looks at the backbone of the internet, ISPs, and cites Netflix as the example of a video content service provider.  Each player is pointing fingers and saying it’s the other’s fault.  (In short, Netflix is accused of purposely routing its service through already congested channels which the ISPs say makes them look bad; the ISPs are accused of slowing the traffic to extort additional money from the content provider.)  David Clark of MIT, one of the organizations doing the congestion research, said the initial report is “preliminary and doesn’t assign fault for congestion, but it does point to a poor experience for ISP customers and Netflix”.

Isn’t the customer experience the most important concern for business?

When a customer has a poor experience, the customer doesn’t care whose fault it is.  But rather than partnering to solve the problems, the ISPs and Netflix, along with the companies providing the internet’s backbone hardware, continue blaming each other while the customers suffer.  We can debate whether or not the accusations are true, but where does that leave your business and the quality of customer experience you can offer?  Isn’t that what’s most important to you?

Please share your thoughts on this.  Do you think the issues of internet infrastructure and management will affect your business?  Do you think you’ve already been affected?  In what ways?  How does your business plan to manage these issues?  What are you doing to ensure your customers have the best possible experience?

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