The Utility Argument – Making a Case for Broadband SLAs

  • Zachary S. Bischof
  • Fabián E. Bustamante
  • Rade Stanojevic
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10176)

Abstract

Most residential broadband services are described in terms of their maximum potential throughput rate, often advertised as having speeds “up to X Mbps”. Though such promises are often met, they are fairly limited in scope and, unfortunately, there is no basis for an appeal if a customer were to receive compromised quality of service. While this ‘best effort’ model was sufficient in the early days, we argue that as broadband customers and their devices become more dependent on Internet connectivity, we will see an increased demand for more encompassing Service Level Agreements (SLA).

In this paper, we study the design space of broadband SLAs and explore some of the trade-offs between the level of strictness of SLAs and the cost of delivering them. We argue that certain SLAs could be offered almost immediately with minimal impact on retail prices, and that ISPs (or third parties) could accurately infer the risk of offering SLA to individual customers – with accuracy comparable to that in the car or credit insurance industry – and price the SLA service accordingly.

References

  1. 1.
    Bischof, Z., Bustamante, F., Feamster, N.: (The Importance of) Being connected: on the reliability of broadband internet access. Technical report NU-EECS-16-01, Northwestern University (2016)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bischof, Z.S., Bustamante, F.E., Stanojevic, R.: Need, want, can afford - broadband markets and the behavior of users. In: Proceedings of IMC, November 2014Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bischof, Z.S., Otto, J.S., Bustamante, F.E.: Up, down and around the stack: ISP characterization from network intensive applications. In: Proceedings of W-MUST (2012)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bischof, Z.S., Otto, J.S., Sánchez, M.A., Rula, J.P., Choffnes, D.R., Bustamante, F.E.: Crowdsourcing ISP characterization to the network edge. In: Proceedings of W-MUST (2011)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Casas, P., Gardlo, B., Schatz, R., Melia, M.: An educated guess on QoE in operational networks through large-scale measurements. In: Proceedings of SIGCOMM Workshop Internet-QoE, August 2016Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Chen, K.-T., Huang, C.-Y., Huang, P., Lei, C.-L.: Quantifying Skype user satisfaction. In: Proceedings of ACM SIGCOMM (2006)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Chen, K.-T., Huang, P., Lei, C.-L.: How sensitive are online gamers to network quality? Commun. ACM 49(11), 34–38 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Comcast Business Class: Service level agreement. http://business.comcast.com/pdfs/cbc-trunks-sla-110922.pdf
  9. 9.
  10. 10.
    FCC: Measuring Broadband America. http://www.fcc.gov/measuring-broadband-america
  11. 11.
    FCC: In the matter of preserving the Open Internet broadband industry practices, December 2010Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    FCC: In the matter of protecting and promoting the Open Internet, February 2015Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Green, W.: Econometric Analysis. Prentince Hall, Upper Saddle River (2003)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Higginbotham, S.: Why the consumer is still held hostage in peering disputes. http://bit.ly/1KbBBhl
  15. 15.
    Nikravesh, A., Hong, D.K., Chen, Q.A., Madhyastha, H.V., Mao, Z.M.: QoE inference without application control. In: Proceedings of SIGCOMM Workshop Internet-QoE, August 2016Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Office of Communication (Ofcom). UK fixed broadband speeds, November/December 2010. Technical report, London, UK, March 2011Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Pedro, J.S., Proserpio, D., Oliver, N.: Mobiscore: towards universal credit scoring from mobile phone data (2015)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Rula, J.P., Bustamante, F.E.: Behind the curtain: cellular DNS and content replica selection. In: Proceedings of IMC (2014)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    SamKnows.: Samknows & the FCC American broadband performance measurement. http://www.samknows.com/broadband/fcc_and_samknows, June 2011
  20. 20.
    Sánchez, M.A., Otto, J.S., Bischof, Z.S., Choffnes, D.R., Bustamante, F.E., Krishnamurthy, B., Willinger, W.: Dasu: pushing experiments to the Internet’s edge. In: Proceedings of USENIX NSDI (2013)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Skype.: Plan network requirements for skype for business. https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/Gg425841.aspx
  22. 22.
    Solsman, J.E.: Cogent: Comcast forced netflix with clever traffic clogging. http://cnet.co/1l3aDw1, May 2014
  23. 23.
    Sommers, J., Barford, P., Duffield, N., Ron, A.: Accurate and efficient SLA compliance monitoring. In: Proceedings of ACM SIGCOMM (2007)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Sundaresan, S., de Donato, W., Feamster, N., Teixeira, R., Crawford, S., Pescapè, A.: Broadband internet performance: a view from the gateway. In: Proceedings of ACM SIGCOMM (2011)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Sundaresan, S., Feamster, N., Teixeira, R., Magharei, N.: Measuring and mitigating web performance bottlenecks in broadband access networks. In: Proceedings of IMC, October 2013Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Sundaresan, S., Feamster, N., Teixeira, R., Tang, A., Edwards, W.K., Grinter, R.E., Chetty, M., de Donato, W.: Helping users shop for ISPs with internet nutrition labels. In: Proceedings of HomeNets (2011)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Xu, Y., Yu, C., Li, J., Liu, Y.: Video telephony for end-consumers: measurement study of Google+, iChat, and Skype. In: Proceedings of IMC (2012)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zachary S. Bischof
    • 1
  • Fabián E. Bustamante
    • 1
  • Rade Stanojevic
    • 2
  1. 1.Northwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA
  2. 2.Qatar Computing Research InstituteAl-RayyanQatar

Personalised recommendations