Does Internet Speed Vary by Season?

Patrick W. Gilmore patrick at
Wed Oct 7 14:16:17 UTC 2009

On Oct 7, 2009, at 9:26 AM, Pierfrancesco Caci wrote:

> :-> "Hank" == Hank Nussbacher <hank at> writes:
>> -Hank
> There are TXCOs and OXCOs inside equipment for a reason. And rubidium
> lamps as well, sometimes.
> Seasonal variations in usage from the end customers are a fact of
> life, instead. If your net is large enough you can even spot the
> different habits about vacations, holidays and whatnot across the
> different regions.

I read the article and the follow up posts and I wonder if we are all  
using the same definition for "speed" here.  The article seems to  
imply you don't get 6 Mbps on your DSL line in summer because the  
copper is hotter and it's harder to push electrons down the link.   
That is clearly BS, the clock is ticking six million times per second,  

Then it talks about traffic, which is very different than speed, at  
least in my book.  If the intertubes are congested, you might get less  
throughput, but your "speed" is the same.  And congestion cannot  
affect speed.  That laser is blinking at 10 billion times per second  
whether the queue behind the port is full or not.  (And don't tell me  
the laser is quiescent when the queue is empty, you know what I mean.)

So what are are talking here?  Speed, throughput, congestion, packet  
loss, latency ... ?

Oh, and while I am certain it is true different networks see different  
peaks & valleys for different seasons & times of day, the  
"Internet" (whatever the hell that is) definitely has less traffic in  
summer than fall.


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