The Effects of Latency on Throughput

I still remember 2009 when I was assigned the task to validate a satellite internet link with 16Mbps bandwidth. At that time that was a looooot in my country.

My biggest surprise was that no matter how many speedtests and download tests I did, I simply couldn’t reach the full 16Mbps and saturate the link. And there I went to complain with the service provider.

All this happened until a very patient young engineer explained it to me:

Mário, it is a satellite link. Latency is too high, you have to make many simultaneous downloads or use a download accelerator.

And it was there that, for the first time, I learned that high latency links like those satellite links (ping latencies of ~500-600ms) influence not only voice/video real-time communication but it also influences throughput… the “speed”.

Let’s verify that…

Continue reading