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I'd not thought of persistent connections and window size effects - both good points especially when the receiving end is either far away or unreliable. It could save other resources too: if you deliver the content to the CDN in 0.1ms and it takes them a further 0.5s to get it to the other end, you don't have to care about the 0.4s during which your server might have otherwise been holding a PHP process (or something else similarly heavy) open.

Another thing that will help long distance if you use a large enough well managed CDN is the interconnectedness of the CDN's nodes. Google probably has a much better pipe between there point of presence here and the one nearest Qatar (to use your example), so much so that "my server -> them -> then again through their fat pipe -> user in qatar" may well be faster then "me -> user in qatar via other ISP and international peering arrangements".




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