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A Few Insights from Netskrt’s VP of Sales on WISPAMERICA 2024

A few insights from WISPAMERICA (OKC, March 4-7)

From Netskrt’s VP Sales – Internet Service Providers, Kevin Walsh
We’re just back from the annual event, this year in beautiful Oklahoma City, and wanted to relay a few (hopefully) relevant observations. We met with almost one hundred WISPs (although most with considerable fiber infrastructure as well); here’s what we heard:

1.) Staying in front of the capacity treadmill is still a thing

A really big thing. A meaningful majority of the WISPs we spoke with had projects underway that would provide greater capacity (and frequently improved redundancy) between their networks and the rest of the world.

2.) Streaming video is driving everything

No surprise here, but the application driving the capacity treadmill is clearly streaming video and, if anything, it’s becoming even more intense. Sandvine’s Global Internet Phenomena Report for 2024 found video accounts for 39% at 5.7 GB per subscriber per day.  Increased HD endpoints, as well as the beginning of 4K/60fps streaming, only worsen the situation.

3.) Live Sports creates new high water-marks

Streaming of live sports (such as Super Bowl LVIII which drew 123.4 Million viewers across TV and streaming platforms,  and was the most-streamed Super Bowl in history, led by a record-setting audience on Paramount+) created new high-water marks for almost all providers. Traffic engineering becomes a lot more challenging when traffic peaks are 10-15 times the typical daily peaks.

4.) Local Video Caching is in high demand

Local video caching, that is caching within the WISP’s network, is in incredibly high demand. This is pretty close to a no-brainer as it allows WISPs to engineer their backhaul much more efficiently. Ultimately, it reduces the slope of the capacity growth curve required to handle #1 above.

Overall, WISPAMERICA 2024 was a great show and an excellent opportunity to exchange technical insights and help WISPs build a better internet.

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