Want to save bandwidth?

For the last couple of years, I’ve been a member of the Technical Committee for the NTCA. Generally, we meet in person a couple of times a year and discuss technical topics that affect the NTCA member base and ensure the Rural markets have a voice as various legislation gets proposed. From time to time, we have representatives from different groups come and present information to the group. At RTIME earlier this month, Anita from Google stopped by and talked to us about the Google Global Cache program.

The program allows ISPs to apply for Google edge caches that reduce bandwidth to Google hosted content. According to Anita, most folks see anywhere from 50 – 90% savings in Google specific bandwidth to sites like YouTube, Google Photos, and other Google products.

There are two types of engagement depending on your volume of traffic. One is sponsored by Google, and the other is paid for by the ISP. Although not published, Anita indicated you need a 250Mb peak of Google traffic to make the program worthwhile.

If you have 2.5Gb of peak traffic, you most-likely qualify for the Google Sponsored (i.e. free to you) option. If not, you have a one-time cost of around $8K for the equipment. In either case, Google will provide you with a minimum of two edge-cache devices that they’ll manage and maintain on your network.

Google then routes your end-users to those devices rather than remote servers, and if two (or more) users request the same content, the cache will save you bandwidth. Unlike Netflix caches, there is no nightly refresh of content; the cache is built in real-time.

There’s an application process you need to go through if you’re interested in the program. You provide Google some information about your network, and then they determine if you have enough traffic to qualify. The link to the application, as well as more information about the program is in this document for NTCA members.

After hearing Anita’s responses to questions from the committee and chatting with a couple of members who’ve joined the program, I’d recommend you go through the process of applying. You really don’t have anything to lose. As always, we’re here to help and can assist with the application process if needed, and I’m happy to chat with anyone that might have questions! Just drop me a note at chris@neonova.net.