Addressing the Toughest Challenge in Remote Conferencing

Addressing the Toughest Challenge in Remote Conferencing

By John Newcomb, May 29, 2020

In the current Coronavirus climate, video conferencing is more crucial than ever. But while readily accessible, video conferencing poses a major challenge compared to face-to-face meetings. Do you know what it is?

The Biggest Challenge in Video Conferencing

Video conferencing is susceptible to network latency, or lag—the time (expressed in milliseconds) for data to travel between sender and destination.

Latency is an intrinsic problem with geostationary satellite Internet networks. It’s why people have trouble using VoIP with HughesNet or Viasat. Consider that a geosat orbits over 22,000 miles above the earth’s equator. Remember, radio waves (and light) travel at 186,000 miles per second.

After adding terrestrial mileage to the distance between Earth and a satellite, satnet data commonly travels 100,000+ miles—over 40% of the distance between Earth and the moon—between network endpoints. This latency can easily last two or three seconds or longer. No wonder VoIP isn’t compatible with satellite networks!

Two or three seconds of lag may not sound like a lot, but it causes major problems with voice communications. Today’s ultra-high-speed fiber optic networks aren’t the culprit behind network latency—local network chokepoints are. Intermediate devices like routers, bridges and switches can cause network latency delay. Inefficient routing of network traffic can also induce lag.

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