Choking the knowledge economy?

If you're thinking about bottlenecks, just look at our domestic internet infrastructure, says Peter Mott of

If you’re thinking about bottlenecks, just look at our domestic internet infrastructure, says Peter Mott of

“It’s not managed, it’s not coordinated and it wouldn’t be robust enough to handle a substantial onslaught of domestic businesses wanting to conduct transactions domestically.”

Under-investment is the problem. “All ISP’s have earned revenue out of selling international bandwidth and so they’ve provisioned international bandwidth. They look at their international routing and their ability to route and connect internationally, and they see domestic connectivity as very much a secondary thing. We’ve experienced a number of issues over time that have demonstrated the fact that we’ve got rather poor infrastructure domestically., for instance, has as much domestic bandwidth onto the wire as there is between the Clear and Telecom networks.”

“There are issues relating to routing, for instance. The route from our network — and the same applies to anyone downstream of Telecom’s global gateway — to Asiaonline is via Sydney at the moment because of a peering disagreement between Telecom and Asiaonline. These sorts of things make domestic transactions much more difficult and problematic, depending on which network you connect to.

“And it’s only going to get worse as the carriers tend to want to try to split the industry up and have the players take a more adversarial approach to each other, rather than a cooperative one. When ISPs were run by technical people they had a much more co-operative approach to peering and connectivity. That’s gone out the window now we’ve got these maniacs called managers running ISPs who care nothing about the engineering realities. We’re actually getting to a stage where it’s safer and possibly even faster to do an off-shore transaction than it is to do one across town.”

Common causes of e-commerce slowdowns

  • Problem: Seasonal surges. Traffic surges due to special promotions or seasonal events such as Christmas.
  • Solution: Configure your site so it can handle traffic well above the average daily number of transactions.

  • Problem: Full firewalls. Servers placed behind firewalls are limited by the capacity of the firewall itself since they can typically only handle a set number of simultaneous connections.
  • Solution: Move publicly accessible, non-critical content outside the firewall.

  • Problem: Dawdling databases. Generating dynamic content for each user puts a load on the interface with back-end databases and may cause the server to splutter.
  • Solution: Use profiling tools to ascertain the efficiency of your database queries. Stored procedures or even minor SQL tweaks can make a big difference.

  • Problem: Repeating redundancies. Delivering static objects like common graphics and logos time and again from the servers adds an unnecessary load.
  • Solution: Use a caching server that sits outside the internal network.

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