Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, sees the need for a new peering infrastructure to support the metaverse and immersive virtual shared experiences such as Meta Horizon Worlds or the Supernatural fitness app.
In an address at the Fiber Connect conference in Nashville yesterday, Randy Brogle, manager of fiber infrastructure solutions for Meta, outlined the requirements for the new peering infrastructure.
“No one company will own and operate the metaverse,” said Brogle.
The infrastructure that Meta envisions will serve a role similar to that of today’s peering points where internet providers exchange traffic with one another but will be optimized for three qualities that the metaverse will require, including:
- Symmetrical bandwidth
- Concurrency (the ability of multiple users to share an experience)
- Latency of 25 milliseconds or less
End users sharing a virtual experience may get service from different providers, so to achieve concurrency and low latency, peering points will have to move closer to end users and will have to use an open standards approach, Brogle said.
Brogle noted that there are 35 metro areas in the U.S. with populations exceeding two million and 25 more metros with populations between one and two million, and according to Brogle, “it would be a good idea to localize” peering infrastructure in these markets.
It’s a far cry from what Brogle referred to as the nation’s current 15 “well attended” peering sites – and it took 30 years for that infrastructure to emerge. But if the Metaverse Standards Forum has its way, the process of developing the new peering infrastructure will happen more quickly. Among other things, the group is working on open standards and a repeatable reference design to support the new infrastructure.
Development of the new peering infrastructure that Meta envisions “must be done collaboratively,” Brogle said.
Brogle noted that Facebook initially was a text-based platform; then people began sharing photos and later, videos there. Today, he said, augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) are “making an appearance on Facebook.”
It’s also worth noting that entertainment and leisure oriented applications are not the only ones that could benefit from the new peering infrastructure that Meta advocates. Brogle pointed to several other applications that the infrastructure could use, including autonomous vehicles and smart traffic management, as well as immersive applications designed to enable medical students to train to do surgery.
Updated to correctly identify the Metaverse Standards Forum