Streaming During a Complete Internet Outage

Sep 1, 2020 | Multi-site, Tips and Tricks, Web Platform, Web Streaming

On Sunday, August 30th, 2020 at 10:03am UTC streaming professionals across the globe attended an impromptu funeral. Who passed away? Almost half of the world’s internet. A massive outage at multinational telecommunication company CenturyLink/Level 3 resulted in many video streams becoming about as reliable as getting good news in 2020.

Thankfully, Resi’s Web Platform (based on the Resilient Streaming Protocol) was built to be 2020-proof.(Even before we knew what 2020 had up its sleeve.) While RTMP-based streaming providers rely on a perfect and persistent connection to send video data, RSP is the only protocol that guarantees perfect video transmission, sending it on a short delay to ensure that every frame of video data makes it to the cloud perfectly before the viewer sees it.

The protocol sends traffic when it has an active internet connection, and send out as much as it can when the internet slows or goes to a complete stop, and starts up again and sends the missed frames upon restoration. This makes streaming through Resi exponentially more reliable than other streaming providers, enabling more viewers to watch without buffering even through complete internet disruptions, or the way Sunday went. 

We debriefed with Technical Director Mark Vergine from Calvary Spokane and he described his thoughts on Resi’s resiliency after 3 hours of fighting with a fluctuating internet connection in the run-up to service:

 

“[Our service] literally wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t have this piece of hardware and service.”

Mark Vergine

Technical Director, Calvary Spokane

But what happens if your internet goes out completely? In this case, you have a few options:

 
  • Use a backup internet connection
    • You wouldn’t normally want to use LTE/Mobile hotspot for streaming because of it’s inconsistency, but thanks to Resi’s RSP, it’s actually a viable option. Plug a backup connection into your encoder and keep streaming without skipping a beat. Many organizations did this yesterday when their primary connection went down. By the way, have you wondered what the USB connection on the front of our encoders are for? Keep a USB phone cable handy, and you can even tether directly to your phone!
  • Run from a simulated live event in the cloud

    • Once an event is in the cloud, simulated live events can be launched manually or based on a schedule. These run to your embed codes, YouTube, Facebook and more from our cloud, so your internet (and even power) could go out and it would still stream.

  • Use a multi-wan router
    • A multi-wan router (such as Peplink) is a device that bridges connections to provide failover protection should the primary connection be disrupted. Think of it as a router with the ability to use a backup internet connection that switches on automatically. If your internet is unstable, this is what we recommend long-term. You can see a story of how Momentum church uses this for their primary web and multisite stream every week here.
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