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47. Diversity Routing: The Killer App For Internet Reliability?   11/7/13 by Dave Immer

Here’s the concept: Encrypt and send identical data streams over two or more ISP networks and, because traffic will be different between the providers, what packets get lost, delayed or jittered on one network will likely make it promptly through on another. Then decrypt the data streams at a special hub for a dramatic improvement in throughput, stability and latency.

Having seen a demo of this technology recently, the replacement of ISDN by IP for audio production looks within reach. But, for those who like the idea of IP because it avoids the cost of long distance and other telco charges, bear in mind that these diversity routers come with their own set of expenses.

1. You need the router device with ethernet or mobile provider cards. $3500+ to purchase.
2. Multiple provider service plans are required for diversity. For a fixed location production facility or home VO studio, you’ll want both cable internet and DSL and/or fiber. You could also use data plans from wireless providers in place of or mixed with the wired service. $200+/monthly.
3. You need permissions to a special hub co-located at a data center giving you direct access to the internet backbone. You could own it ($4500+) or subscribe to a shared managed hub service. $TBD

This technology, also referred to as bandwidth bonding, addresses the underlying weakness in using the public internet for mission-critical streaming and is already being deployed by major broadcasters, emergency services and the military. I’m told if one side already has a fast connection then the “poor bandwidth” side can get a benefit from having the diversity router by itself.

The possibility of a fast virtual WAN connection to send an APT-X/E 512kbs, 1.5Mbs linear audio, or multichannel audio data stream with almost 100% reliability suggests that, for production audio, live broadcast and other priority IP transmissions, this could be the killer app.

-Dave