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RE: Is Bandwidth Still a Limit?

From: Joel Sanda <joels@ecollege.com>
Date: Thu, 10 May 2001 16:18:44 -0600
Message-ID: <1F65B84ED796D3119307009027DE0A51077D6418@PIKESPEAK>
To: "'ADAM GUASCH-MELENDEZ'" <ADAM.GUASCH@EEOC.GOV>, david@djwhome.demon.co.uk, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
I think the issue of bandwidth needs to be mitigated by the amount of data
being downloaded. When I used a Palm and its 14.4 modem, my MSN home page
loaded faster on the 14.4 modem than on my 56k (40k really) modem at home.
The reason? I skipped all the images. The same holds true for Internet
access on my cell phone: I can download my image heavy site built to the
WCAG 1.0 spec faster on my cell than on my 56k at home, again because the
images are gone.

Maybe it's reasonable to assume there is no issue with 'text only' sites,
since you can't scale that back much further than just straight text
embellished with CSS. Getting any granular with sites that use only text
would get into discussions of how big, in kilobytes, a page should be.

Still ... I'm less than 1/2 a block away from my phone company's switching
station and sites are so slow on my dial up I'm getting DSL at home (next
week!). So with most sites I frequent, bandwidth isn't so much the issue as
is all the images that go with the content.

Interesting implications for the discussion on images and text thread the
last few days ...


-----Original Message-----
Sent: Thursday, May 10, 2001 5:07 PM
To: david@djwhome.demon.co.uk; w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: Re: Is Bandwidth Still a Limit?

The average user still connects with a modem from home - either a 33.6 or
56k, and 56k modems really give you about 40k. That's still slow. Cable and
DSL are rolling out very, very slowly.

From work, the average user generally has a faster connection. However, a T1
line shared among dozens, perhaps hundreds of co-workers, can also become
rather sluggish. Some offices provide truly fast connections, but for many
it's not much better, and sometimes even worse, than a modem connection. Or
for students using their school's T3, there are frequent complaints of
pitiful performance due in large part to trading mp3s (although this may
improve with Napster going down the tubes).

And, of course, massively increased web use has led to many bottlenecks.
Even if there are fast connections at both ends, traffic often bogs down
somewhere in the middle. As a very satisfied user of a home DSL connection,
I still frequently run into sites that are much slower than they should be,
for that reason.

So yes, bandwidth is still an issue. Not quite as much of an issue as when
14.4 and 19.2 modems were the norm - maximum file size can, perhaps, be
bumped up a bit - but it's still a significant concern.

>>> David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk> 05/10/01 04:54PM >>>
A number of people on this list claim that bandwidth is no longer
an issue on the internet (a point with which I disagree).  However
I notice that the W3C site has abandoned language negotiation and is
now generating cacheable pages.  It used to be very sluggish.  I'd
suggest that they have found that bandwidth is still an issue!
Received on Thursday, 10 May 2001 18:18:57 UTC

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