They Say Patience is a Virtue, but We Need More Bandwidth… NOW!

Our society has become one of instantaneous gratification. We want everything to be ubiquitous and run as smooth as possible. In this blog, James Donovan asks the question, “Do we need more bandwidth?”


Waiting for files to load is a frustration we’ve all felt at one time or another, but is it fair to blame our network? Are we losing valuable working time or are we too impatient?

File transfer applications are probably the most common data activity on users’ devices, whether they be PC, tablet or mobile devices attached to cellular and other networks. In many cases the user or device must wait for the file transfer to complete before allowing the user to act on the file. If a file transfer takes too long, the user finds the delay unacceptable and also loses productive time.

It is the user’s subjective reaction that determines what ‘time to wait’ is acceptable. As the time to wait is directly linked to the bandwidth and speed of the network doing the transfer, we can see why bandwidth demands will continue to increase.

I’ll stick with what I’ve got thanks

For years, I heard people say they have enough bandwidth and do not see the need for a faster network. As with any faith it is often difficult to prove every point but sometimes one needs to just believe it happens.

Today, the size of files transferred varies over many orders of magnitude and the time it takes to transfer or stream the information is linked primarily to the data rate of the network. And it is not just the claimed or advertised data rate, it is the actual throughput when sharing with others on the network that really impact users experience. However, this assumption does rely on what is regarded as acceptable wait times.

Users get frustrated waiting for applications to load

It probably explains at least why mobile and cellular users and also users accessing networks are eager for the next level of 3G, 4G or broadband fiber service. That’s still a far cry from 10Gbps speeds available in LANs. Users get frustrated waiting for applications to load and want instant response. In fact, users will wait longer for a website to load on a desktop computer than they will on a mobile device.

Let’s be honest, we are impatient by nature and technology will have to keep pace with us, the users. Do you agree we need more bandwidth?