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Internet Speeds Dropping, But Net Neutrality Won't Help

Published by: Andy on 23rd Jun 2015 | View all blogs by Andy

 

Internet Speeds Dropping, But Net Neutrality Won't Help

A set of FCC imposed net neutrality rules went into effect last month, aimed primarily at protecting Internet speeds across broadband and mobile networks.  The Internet is slowing, however, yet it's not because mobile carriers are throttling customers with no-limit plans or broadband providers are selling preferred space for data hog companies that pay for the privilege.  According to Web data tracker HTTP Archive, websites are growing in size, thus taking longer to load, all across the World Wide Web.  The HTTP Archive report said that the average size for websites has increased 40 percent over the last two years, from 1.5 megabytes (MB) to 2.1 MB.  The reasons for websites growing at this pace vary, but the impact is perpetual because when one website adds a specific type of content, rivals eventually follow suit and websites expand for companies in that entire industry.

A big example of content driving website growth is video, especially with everybody from Facebook to Yahoo generating their own videos online.  And even if a video is hosted on another site such as CNN.com or YouTube, it still adds to the load time of the page where it displays.  Facebook and Twitter feeds, interactive widgets streaming music players are further examples of this type of content.  In addition, more and more websites have become mobile-friendly, and many have features designed for specific browsers or operating systems.  All of these offerings require additional coding, thus increasing the size of the website and increasing the load time.  Larger websites utilize hefty tracking and encryption tools which also slows loading times.

Google has noticed the rapidly growing size of websites, and has taken action to discourage it.  Just last week, the global Internet search leader began testing a new “Slow to Load” label in its search results for mobile devices.  A spokesman for the tech giant explained that mobile searches account for the majority of those conducted on Google in at least ten different countries, so the company wanted to improve the mobile browsing experience.  In the last update for its search algorithm, Google also began docking websites that are not “mobile-friendly,” meaning they would be dropped in organic search results.

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