Thursday, June 18, 2015

Backhaul Sleuthing in Rural California

As part of our investigation into why rural mobile performance is so much worse than urban, we had our testers run trace route tests to see where each provider sent traffic on its backhaul network. We just received the data output, and it's over 36 megabytes in comma delimited format. More than 16,000 tests, some with more than 20 "hops." It will take some time to decipher everything and draw conclusions, but one thing seems apparent immediately: AT&T has fewer hops than the other providers to get to the same destination. This may be one factor in AT&T having higher overall VoIP capability than the other providers (fewer hops, lower latency). Here is a table of the average number of hops to the West server for each provider:

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