Can YouTube Accelerator Lessen Video Buffering?

The leading Internet video company, YouTube is testing a new product, called Accelerator, which hopes to improve the performance of their website. YouTube Accelerator recently began a testing period in the Philippines before a potential worldwide rollout with hopes of improving everyone’s streaming experience.

YouTube Acceerator

When you are traveling outside of the friendly confines of your home Internet account, trying to stream videos can be a difficult process. You perform a quick HTML5 speed test to check your bandwidth, and even with decent results, you still encounter too much buffering during video playback. Let’s see if YouTube Accelerator will come to the rescue.

YouTube Accelerator Depends on Local Caching

Accelerator’s technology concept involves caching the website’s most popular video content onto local hotspots. Any airport, popular local watering hole, or even a larger sports facility, with their own WiFi network, would benefit from this YouTube product to improve their customers’ Internet experience. Accelerator currently supports hotspots in malls and hospitals as well.

The fact the Google company only caches “popular” videos means fans of obscure 70s Lithuanian prog rock are probably out of luck when it comes to superior streaming performance. Still, caching the most viewed content should improve the performance of the rest of YouTube’s content, if only slightly.

When a user accesses YouTube from a hotspot supporting Accelerator, they are able to filter their video search results to return only the cached content. These special videos are also marked with a logo, so you know are viewing the right video. YouTube says to expect over 100,000 videos to be cached when the service goes live on an expanded basis.

Only Android App for Now

YouTube Accelerator is only available on the Android mobile operating system for the time-being. This is one of the advantages of Google owning both YouTube and Android. The company expects iOS and Windows versions of the technology to be available shortly. Here’s hoping it’s before the worldwide rollout, when and if that happens.

Check out YouTube’s website for Accelerator, where you can search for nearby hotspots and learn additional information about the service. At the time of this writing, most of the hotspot locations are in and around the Manila metropolitan area. Google promises excellent security with Accelerator, including support for the HTTPS protocol.

If Accelerator is successful once the service expands its footprint, expect other content providers to offer a similar service working with local hotspot providers. Whether or not this passes FCC muster considering the principles of Net Neutrality is unclear at this point. Expect more news on Accelerator once Google’s latest product exits its testing phase.