Past events

Household internet and the need for speed

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Date: Friday 21 April 2017
Venue: EN102, Hawthorn Campus

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Swinburne's School of Software and Electrical Engineering present this seminar on Household internet and the 'need for speed': evaluating the impact of increasingly online lifestyles and the internet of things.

Featuring Professor Grenville Armitage (Swinburne) and Dr Jenny Kennedy (RMIT)


The present and future broadband needs of households remains a contentious topic, with political, industry and consumer stakeholders rarely in agreement. We illuminate the policy debate by drawing upon both social and technical studies to consider what happens in household networks. We identify the influence of latency-sensitive and latency-tolerant classes of application traffic in driving consumer perceptions of how fast their last-mile broadband services need to be. Using experimental results we conclude that adding active queue management (AQM) techniques to home gateways can address the needs of latency-sensitive applications while reducing the need additional access bandwidth. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork on household rhythms we show how household demographics can be used to estimate future bandwidth requirements.

About the speakers

Professor Grenville Armitage earned a B.Eng. in electrical engineering (Hons) in 1988 and a Ph.D. in electronic engineering in 1994, both from the University of Melbourne. He is a full professor of telecommunications engineering, was founding director of the Centre for Advanced Internet Architectures, and is founding Head of the Internet For Things (I4T) Research Lab at Swinburne University of Technology. He authored “Quality of Service In IP Networks: Foundations for a Multi-Service Internet” (Macmillan, April 2000) and co-authored Networking and Online Games “Understanding and Engineering Multiplayer Internet Games” (Wiley, April 2006). Visit Grenville's website.

Dr Jenny Kennedy is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Media and Communication at RMIT, Melbourne, Australia. Jenny's research interests are media practices in everyday life, social discourses around technology use, and material culture. She is located in the Technology, Communication and Policy Lab, within the Digital Ethnography Research Centre.