Net Neutrality and Internet Fast Lanes

Speaker:  Arun Vishwanath – Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Topic(s):  Computational Theory, Algorithms and Mathematics


Net neutrality and Internet fast lanes have been the subject of raging debates — in the he US and around the world — for several years now. Various view points have been put forth by Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Content Providers (CPs) and end users seeking to influence how the Internet is regulated. We will begin this lecture by highlighting the contentions in the net neutrality debate from the viewpoints of technology (what mechanisms do or do not violate net neutrality?), economics (how does net neutrality help or hurt investment and growth?), and society (do Internet fast lanes disempower consumers?). 

We will then describe a new model that engages all three parties and posit that it can provide a compromise solution to the ongoing net neutrality debate. Specifically, we propose that the CP explicitly signals fast- and slow-lane requirements to the ISP on a per-flow basis, using open APIs supported through Software Defined Networking (SDN) technology. We will describe an architecture that supports this model, presenting arguments on why this benefits consumers (better user experience), ISPs (two-sided revenue) and CPs (fine-grained control over peering arrangement). We evaluate our proposal using a real trace of over 10 million flows to show that video flow quality degradation can be nearly eliminated by the use of dynamic fast-lanes, and web-page load times can be hugely improved by the use of slow-lanes for bulk transfers. We conclude by presenting results from a fully functional prototype of our system using open-source SDN components to demonstrate the feasibility and performance benefits of our approach. 

We believe that our proposal is a first step towards the long-term goal of realising open and agile access network service quality management that is acceptable to users, ISPs and content providers alike.

About this Lecture

Number of Slides:  20
Duration:  60 minutes
Languages Available:  English
Last Updated: 

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