According to Eric Neustadter, Operations Manager for Xbox Live, matching making for Modern Warfare 2 should now be the speed of light after an update today.  He announced this via @thevowel on twitter just hours ago.

Match making is the process of Xbox Live to link you with other online players searching though thousands of available matches to find the best game.  The update addresses how the servers ping each player to find those nearest you.  The best potential for games with zero lag is to find players near you instead of linking a game with players from all over the world.

Many gamers will not notice immediate benefits because they already live in a highly populated areas with many potential matches.   Gamers in Australia and other countries without significant Xbox Live member will notice the biggest benefit because this new ping update will try to find local players for a match first before linking to the rest of the world.

As a gamer, you want to play in a lag-free game.  This means that you need to be playing with gamers who are “near you” on the Internet.  This is why games like MW2 ping potential matches to determine how close they are and reject them if they’re too far away.

Xbox Live is an amazing online gaming service that launched on November 2002 and is available in 26 countries with 23 million members.