Does Internet Speed Vary by Season?

Frank A. Coluccio frank at
Sun Oct 11 00:32:36 UTC 2009

   Hi Fred.
   I think you are referring, in the case of hierarchical synchronous
   architectures (SONET/SDH),  to the absolute periodicity of the timing
   coming from clock sources. Frame slips and overwrites can occur when
   too many ppm lagging or leading are exceeded, as I believe was implied
   in your post. In contrast, I believe the notions that are being
   discussed in this thread have more to do with the effects of
   temperature coefficients of metallic conductors during shifts in
   outside temperature conditions, and the ensuing changes in the nominal
   velocity of propagation that accompany those changes, relative to the
   speed of light.
   In any case, I have been following this discussion from its beginning
   with a great amount of interest, finding it a great memory jogger from
   times misspent in my youth. I started a parallel discussion on my
   forum, where today I responded to another poster with the following
   observations, for anyone interested.
   --- fred at wrote:
   From: Fred Baker <fred at>
   To: Dragos Ruiu <dr at>
   Cc: nanog at, Joe Greco <jgreco at>
   Subject: Re: Does Internet Speed Vary by Season?
   Date: Sat, 10 Oct 2009 14:27:07 -0700
   On Oct 9, 2009, at 5:38 PM, Dragos Ruiu wrote:
   > Well, since it's been documented that internet speed / usage varies
   > with
   > the weather (it gets faster when it's sunny, slower when it rains)
   > I'm sure some
   > seasonal correlation could be found.
   Could you point to the documentation?
   I having trouble with language that sounds like one concept and I
   suspect is in fact another. Take as one example the basic digital
   signaling hierarchy. The specifications call for a certain rate plus
   or minus some number of parts per million. If they are within
   tolerance, the amount that they would speed up or slow down is
   measured in a pretty small number of bits per second. So I don't think
   the speed of the links is materially changing. If on the other hand we
   are discussing the volume of traffic using that available capacity, it
   is absolutely clear that there are diurnal, weekly, and seasonal
   variations as well as growth in time.
   Are we talking about bit rate, which one might expect to be modified
   by environmental characteristics and is in fact very tightly
   controlled to prevent that, or traffic volume?



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