Dissecting web latency in Ghana

Yasir Zaki, Jay Chen, Thomas Pötsch, Talal Ahmad, Lakshminarayanan Subramanian

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Web access is prohibitively slow in many developing regions despite substantial effort to increase bandwidth and network penetration. In this paper, we explore the fundamental bot- Tlenecks that cause poor web performance from a client's perspective by carefully dissecting webpage load latency con- Tributors in Ghana. Based on our measurements from 2012 to 2014, we find several interesting issues that arise due to the increasing complexity of web pages and number of server redirections required to completely render the assets of a page. We observe that, rather than bandwidth, the primary bottleneck of web performance in Ghana is the lack of good DNS servers and caching infrastructure. The main bottle- necks are: (a) Recursive DNS query resolutions; (b) HTTP redirections; (c) TLS/SSL handshakes. We experiment with a range of well-known end-to-end latency optimizations and find that simple DNS caching, redirection caching, and the use of SPDY can all yield substantial improvements to user- perceived latency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIMC 2014 - Proceedings of the 2014 ACM
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781450332132
StatePublished - Nov 5 2014
Event2014 ACM Internet Measurement Conference, IMC 2014 - Vancouver, Canada
Duration: Nov 5 2014Nov 7 2014

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ACM SIGCOMM Internet Measurement Conference, IMC


Other2014 ACM Internet Measurement Conference, IMC 2014


  • DNS
  • Developing countries
  • HAR
  • Web

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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