In developing webcasts for companies I continuously explain many of the factors that affect people’s ability to view, fast-forward, zoom, etc. “The internet is the internet and I have a fast connection – right?”
The simple answer is no. There are factors of your connection speed, your computers power, the server connection, the amount of traffic and geography. Yes, geography can have an impact on the connection speed. To illustrate, let’s look at a quick example.
I live in San Diego, CA (the red star in the lower left of the country). But if I connect to servers in different parts of the country I have different connection speeds; from 14.5MB down to 7MB.
Connection 1: San Diego to Los Angeles
Connection 2: San Diego to Seattle
Connection 3: San Diego to Chicago
Connection 4: San Diego to Atlanta
Note: For viewing a streaming movie, or webcast, the Download speed is the important number.
Note 2: Just noticed my ‘Atlanta’ circle is not over Atlanta…
All of these connection tests were done within 5 minutes. I used the connection test at Speakeasy.net (see 12/14/06 post for more info). Last, I am on a Fiber Optic connection, so your results may not reflect these numbers.