Commercial models for IP quality of service interconnect


Interconnection of IP QoS capabilities between networks releases considerable value. In this paper we show where this value will be realised. We give technical and economic arguments for why QoS will be provided in core and backbone networks as a bulk QoS facility incapable of distinguishing or charging differentially between sessions, while between edge networks a vibrant mix of retail QoS solutions will be possible, including Internet-wide per-flow guarantees.

We outline cutting edge research on how to co-ordinate QoS between networks, using a session-based overlay between the edges that will extract most surplus value, underpinned by a bulk QoS layer co-ordinating the whole. We survey today’s interconnect tariffs and the current disconnected state of IP QoS. Then we describe a commercial ‘model of models’ that allows incremental evolution towards an interconnected future.

The paper covers intertwined engineering and economic/commercial issues in some depth, but considerable effort has been made to allow both communities to understand the whole paper.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  1. 1

    Johnson D: ‘QoS control versus generous dimensioning’, BT Technol J, 23, No2, pp 81–96 (April 2005).

    Google Scholar 

  2. 2

    Adams J, Roberts L G and IJsselmuiden A: ‘Changing the Internet to support real-time content supply from a large fraction of broadband residential users’, BT Technol J, 23, No2, pp 217–231 (April 2005).

    Google Scholar 

  3. 3

    Lechner R: ‘Competitive network evolution towards broadband IP’, in Wiltshire B (Ed): ’Proc BT Alliance Engineering Symposium (AES’99)’, Session 1A Paper 2, BT Alliance (June 1999).

  4. 4

    Hovell P, Briscoe B and Corliano G: ‘Guaranteed QoS synthesis (GQS) — an example of a scalable core IP quality of service solution’, BT Technol J, 23, No2, pp 160–170 (April 2005).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5

    Metcalfe R M: ‘Metcalfe’s Law: A network becomes more valuable as it reaches more users’, InfoWorld opinion column, ‘From the Ether’ (October 1995) — pl?/metcalfe/bmlist.htm

  6. 6

    Lyons M H: ‘Information, networks and economics’, The Journal (TCN), pp 40–44 (January–March 2000).

  7. 7

    Briscoe B: ‘The value of network interconnection’, Technical Report TR-CXR9-2005-004, BT (February 2005) —

  8. 8

    Baker F, Braden B, Bradner S, Mankin A, O’Dell M, Romanow A, Weinrib A and Zhang L: ‘Resource ReSerVation protocol (RSVP) — version 1 applicability statement; Some guidelines on deployment’, RFC2208, Internet Engineering Task Force (January 1997).

  9. 9

    Mustill D and Willis P J: ‘Delivering QoS in the next generation network — a standards perspective’, BT Technol J, 23, No2, pp 48–60 (April 2005).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10

    Zhang L, Deering S, Estrin D, Shenker S and Zappala D: ‘RSVP: A new resource ReSerVation protocol’, IEEE Network (September 1993).

  11. 11

    Braden R (Ed), Zhang L, Berson S, Herzog S, and Jamin S: ‘Resource ReSerVation Protocol (RSVP) — version 1 functional specification’, RFC2205, Internet Engineering Task Force (September 1997).

  12. 12

    Clark D C: ‘A model for cost allocation and pricing in the Internet’, in Proc MIT Workshop on Internet Economics (March 1995) —

  13. 13

    Blake S, Black D, Carlson M, Davies E, Wang Z and Weiss W: ‘An architecture for differentiated services’, RFC2475, Internet Engineering Task Force (December 1998).

  14. 14

    CableLabs: ‘PacketCable 1.5 architecture framework’, Technical Report PKT-TR-ARCH1.5-V01-050128, Cable Television Laboratories Inc (January 2005) —

  15. 15

    CableLabs: ‘PacketCable 1.5 dynamic quality-of-service’, Specification PKT-SP-DQOS-I10-040721, Cable Television Laboratories Inc (July 2004) — PKT-SP-DQOS-I10-040721.pdf

  16. 16

    Nahrstedt K and Smith J M: ‘The QoS broker’, IEEE Multimedia, 2, No1, pp 53–67 (1995).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. 17

    Nichols K, Jacobson V and Zhang L: ‘A two-bit differentiated services architecture for the Internet’, RFC2638, Internet Engineering Task Force (July 1999).

  18. 18

    Cuevas M: ‘Admission control and resource reservation for session-based applications in next generation networks’, BT Technol J, 23, No2, pp 130–145 (April 2005).

    Google Scholar 

  19. 19

    Yavatkar R, Pendarakis D and Guerin R: ‘A framework for policy-based admission control’, RFC2753, Internet Engineering Task Force (January 2000).

  20. 20

    Durham D, Boyle J, Cohen R, Herzog S, Rajan R and Sastry A: ‘The COPS (common open policy service) protocol’, RFC2748, Internet Engineering Task Force (January 2000).

  21. 21

    Ramakrishnan K K, Floyd S and Black D: ‘The addition of explicit congestion notification (ECN) to IP’, RFC3168, Internet Engineering Task Force (September 2001).

  22. 22

    Courcoubetis C and Weber R: ‘Buffer overflow asymptotics for a switch handling many traffic sources’, Journal Applied Probability, 33, pp 886–903 (1996).

    Google Scholar 

  23. 23

    Kunniyur S and Srikant R: ‘Analysis and design of an adaptive virtual queue (AVQ) algorithm for active queue management’, Proc ACM SIGCOMM’01, Computer Communication Review, 31, No4 (October 2001).

  24. 24

    Briscoe B, Jacquet A, Di Cairano-Gilfedder C, Soppera A and Koyabe M: ‘Policing congestion response in an inter-network using re-feedback’, Proc ACM SIGCOMM’05, Computer Communication Review, 35, No4, to appear in September 2005.

  25. 25

    Constantiou I D and Courcoubetis C A: ‘Information asymmetry models in the Internet connectivity market’, in Proc 4th Internet Economics Workshop (May 2001) —

  26. 26

    Nichols K, Blake S, Baker F and Black D: ‘Definition of the differentiated services field (DS field) in the IPv4 and IPv6 headers’, RFC2474, Internet Engineering Task Force (December 1998).

  27. 27

    Reid A: ‘Economics and scalability of QoS solutions’, BT Technol J, 23, No2, pp 97–117 (April 2005).

    Google Scholar 

  28. 28

    Jacobsen V: ‘Congestion avoidance and control’, Proc ACM SIGCOMM’88, Computer Communication Review, 18, No4, pp 314–329 (1988).

    Google Scholar 

  29. 29

    Kelly F P, Maulloo A K and Tan D K H: ‘Rate control for communication networks: shadow prices, proportional fairness and stability’, Journal of the Operational Research Society, 49, No3, pp 237–252 (1998).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. 30

    Odlyzko A: ‘A modest proposal for preventing Internet congestion’, Technical report TR 97.35.1, AT & T Research, Florham Park, New Jersey (September 1997) —∼ odlyzko/doc/modest.proposal.pdf

    Google Scholar 

  31. 31

    Gibbens R J and Kelly F P: ‘On packet marking at priority queues’, IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, 47, No6, pp 1016–1020 (June 2002).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. 32

    ‘Reforming the international accounting rate system’, ITU (2001) —, 2001.

  33. 33

    Goldenberg D K, Qiu L, Xie H, Yang Y R and Zhang Y: ‘Optimizing cost and performance for multihoming’, Proc ACM SIGCOMM’04, Computer Communication Review, 34, No4, pp 79–92 (October 2004).

    Google Scholar 

  34. 34

    LINX — fees schedule (Version 5.0) (July 2004) —

  35. 35

    Giovannetti E, D’Ignazio A, Lepler J, Ristuccia C and Brilon S: ‘Initial data-set on transit prices and quality’, Deliverable D5-WP1, CoCombine IST project IST-2004-2012 (November 2004) —

  36. 36

    Fulp E W and Reeves D S: ‘The economic impact of network pricing intervals’, in Proc Internet Charging and QoS Technology (ICQT’02), No 2511, pp 315–324 (October 2002) —

  37. 37

    ‘Open settlement protocol (OSP) version v2.1.1’, Technical specification 101321, ETSI TIPHON (August 2000) —

  38. 38

    ‘The value of IP clearing and settlement: new revenue opportunities for IP carriers’, White paper, Transnexus (1997) — 20Settlement.pdf

  39. 39

    McCreary S and klaffy k c: ‘How far does the average packet travel on the Internet?’, Technical report, CAIDA (May 1998) —

  40. 40

    Briscoe B: ‘The direction of value flow in multi-service connectionless networks’, in Proc International Conference on Telecommunicatons and E-Commerce (ICTEC’99) (October 1999) — valflow-ictec99.pdf

  41. 41

    Shenker S, Clark D, Estrin D and Herzog S: ‘Pricing in computer networks: Reshaping the research agenda’, ACM SIGCOMM Computer Communication Review, 26, No2 ( April 1996).

  42. 42

    Zhang R: ‘QoS-enabled inter-provider MPLS VPN services’, presentation to CII-CFP inter-provider QoS working group (October 2004) —

  43. 43

    Corliano G and Khan K: ‘Economic tussles in the public mobile access market’, BT Technol J, 21, No3, pp 122–133 (July 2003).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  44. 44

    Clark D, Sollins K, Wroclawski J and Braden R: ‘Tussle in cyberspace: Defining tomorrow’s Internet’, Proc ACM SIGCOMM’02, Computer Communication Review, 32, No4 (August 2002).

Download references


About this article

Cite this article

Briscoe, B., Rudkin, S. Commercial models for IP quality of service interconnect. BT Technol J 23, 171–195 (2005).

Download citation


  • Information System
  • Communication Network
  • User Interface
  • Considerable Effort
  • Multimedia Information