Google (NASDAQW:GOOG) Aug. 30 joined VeriSign (NASDAQ:VRSN), OpenDNS, and several content delivery networks in launching the Global Internet Speedup initiative, a bid to boost Internet speeds all over the world.
The Global Internet Speedup is designed to improve the way communication within the Domain Name System (DNS) is handled by using the location of a computer user.
The DNS translates alphabetical domain names humans associated with Websites online into the numerical identifiers associated with networking equipment to locate and address computers, tablets and other computing machines.
Millions of users are accessing the Web several times a day, triggering multiple DNS requests for streaming video, social networks and multiplayer online games. This can bog down the Web page rendering process, which means users are sitting at their computers, waiting to view Web pages.
The DNS is one of the first pieces of the routing infrastructure that helps users access content via CDNs, which use DNS systems to direct users to the nearest content server based on the location of the user's DNS server. Users who aren't located near a CDN's DNS server may see slower Web page load times and decreased Internet performance.
This is where the Global Internet Speedup effort comes in. Using the rough location of a user rather than the location of a DNS system from Google or OpenDNS, Global Internet Speedup enables CDNs to make more intelligent data routing decisions. Users connecting to participating Internet sites and CDN content through OpenDNS and Google Public DNS will automatically be connected to either the nearest or most optimal CDN server.
GigaOm provided this practical scenario: "So now a user in Austin, Texas, who types in the URL for a YouTube video will share part of his IP address as part of the DNS request. That way, the domain name system server can route the request to a Google data center in Dallas, as opposed to one in Ireland."
Google, which powers the YouTube video-sharing service and its new Google+ social network, recognizes as much as any company how important facilitating data on the Internet is. This is why the company in 2009 launched its free Google Public DNS system, part of its plan to "speed up the Web" and "make the Web faster."
OpenDNS CEO David Ulevitch criticized Google for the move at the time, but the companies clearly see it is mutually beneficial to work together under the Global Internet Speedup effort, which is rolling out to more than 30 million users of Google Public DNS and OpenDNS combined.
"The initiative we've partnered on is based on open standards that any other network can adopt, making this technology available to anyone," Ulevitch said in a statement. "We're proud to be leading the charge together with the world's leading Internet companies and CDNs and we're stoked to be delivering speed improvements to our more than 30 million users and thousands of enterprise businesses."
Dave Presotto, distinguished engineer at Google, added: "Google is committed to making the Internet faster - not just for our users, but for everyone. We will do that any way we can, by improving protocols, browsers, client software and networks."
CDNs participating in the include BitGravity, CDNetworks, Cloudflare, Comodo and Edgecast. Open source code for the Global Internet Speedup has been submitted to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) for ratification.