Call for academic researchers (Re: New minimum speed for US broadband connections)

Sean Donelan sean at
Sat May 29 23:25:12 UTC 2021

I thought in the 1990s, we had moved beyond using average bps measurements 
for IP congestion collapse.  During the peering battles, some ISPs used to 
claim average bps measurements showed no problems.  But in reality there 
were massive packet drops, re-transmits and congestive collapse which 
didn't show up in simple average bps graphs.

Have any academic researchers done work on what are the real-world minimum 
connection requirements for home-schooling, video teams applications, job 
interview video calls, and network background application noise?

During the last year, I've been providing volunteer pandemic home 
schooling support for a few primary school teachers in a couple of 
different states.  Its been tough for pupils on lifeline service (fixed 
or mobile), and some pupils were never reached. I found lifeline students 
on mobile (i.e. 3G speeds) had trouble using even audio-only group calls, 
and the exam proctoring apps often didn't work at all forcing those 
students to fail exams unnecessarily.

In my experience, anecdotal data need some academic researchers, pupils 
with at least 5 mbps (real-world measurement) upstream connections at 
home didn't seem to have those problems, even though the average bps graph 
was less than 1 mbps.

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