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The European Commission revealed plans to invest $4.8 million over the course of three years to research and ultimately reduce Internet lag. Three universities - Alcatel-Lucent Bell in Belgium, Institut Mines-Telecom in France and Simula Research Labs in Norway - will all take part in the RITE (Reduce Internet Transport Latency) Project.
The goal is to solve the problem without the need for new and better connections. To do this, they will need to come up with new methods within existing networks and end-hosts to get rid of annoying lag that causes delays in video games, Internet video delivery and VoIP chats.
Professor Gorry Fairhurst, an Internet engineer at Aberdeen, said it is a problem we are all too familiar with when using a program like Skype. If anyone else in the house is watching a video at the same time, the connection becomes jerky and can often crash completely. He said it also affects gamers playing online and companies doing real-time stock trading.
Those that need a snappier connection often pay extra from a service provider, but that doesn't solve the problem most of the time. According to the professor, these people don't need more bandwidth to go faster but rather, less delay. He is hopeful they can reduce the delay by making a small set of changes to the way computers and networks process data from the Internet.
The team wants to come up with a solution that works for everyone and eventually have it standardized around the world. If they can't do that, Fairhurst says, then they have failed.