Going Mobile:Technology and Policy Issues in the Mobile Internet                                   Richard BennettInformat...
Going Mobile:Technology and Policy Issues in the Mobile Internet               Richard Bennett                  March 2010
T h e I n f o r m aT I o n T e c h n o l o g y & I n n o v aT I o n f o u n d aT I o nTable of Contents       I.      Exec...
T h e I n f o r m aT I o n T e c h n o l o g y & I n n o v aT I o n f o u n d aT I o n                 A. Essential Parts ...
T h e I n f o r m aT I o n T e c h n o l o g y & I n n o v aT I o n f o u n d aT I o n                           3. Conten...
T h e I n f o r m aT I o n T e c h n o l o g y & I n n o v aT I o n f o u n d aT I o n                                    ...
T h e I n f o r m aT I o n T e c h n o l o g y & I n n o v aT I o n f o u n d aT I o n                                  Ex...
world. Some of these changes are purely technical, but       of innovation. We might also expect increased fracturetheir s...
ber of practical drawbacks. If the framework itself        conduct. Second, policymakers should embark on awere clear and ...
technology. The challenge for a transparency rule is          the market for video streaming and telephony. If ISPsto disc...
	   No part of this regulation shall be con-            are experimental ones renewable day-by-day. Proven    strued as l...
Wi-Fi systems to look for the use of radar on certainchannels, and to refrain from using channels where ra-dar is found.In...
Going Mobile: Technology and Policy Issues in the Mobile InternetT         en years ago, the typical American             ...
Rise of the Cell phone                                         whims of billions of people as they live their lives, atWhi...
Figure 1: Classical Internet protocal Version 4 Header                0         4           8                    16       ...
It enables functions to be specified, developed, and         RFC 795 specified the interpretation of the Type oftested in ...
MINI-TUTORIaL: IS THe INTeRNeT a FIRST-COMe, FIRST-SeRVeD NeTWORk?    Many advocates of anti-discrimination regulations in...
was thrown together hastily in order to allow the tran-      It’s likely that significant changes are coming to thesition ...
Figure 2: Hot potato RoutingVoIP didn’t have any major problems on the Inter-            to see more instances of friction...
ers, rather than content creators and middlemen. As          mediate customers do in fact pay most of the costs ofIETF mem...
generation applications, we probably need next-genera-            Specific example: Inter-Domain Quality of Servicetion ec...
are most valuable on data links where load is highly        BGP prefers more specific routes over general ones, sovariable...
have been developed just in time, perhaps be-                  …there has been no substantial change at layer   cause only...
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100302 going mobile

  1. 1. Going Mobile:Technology and Policy Issues in the Mobile Internet Richard BennettInformation Technology and Innovation Foundation
  2. 2. Going Mobile:Technology and Policy Issues in the Mobile Internet Richard Bennett March 2010
  3. 3. T h e I n f o r m aT I o n T e c h n o l o g y & I n n o v aT I o n f o u n d aT I o nTable of Contents I. Executive Summary ............................................................................................ 1 II. Introduction ......................................................................................................... 7 A. Advent of Broadband ............................................................................. 7 B. Rise of the Cell Phone ............................................................................ 8 B. Convergence ............................................................................................. 8 C. Reader’s Guide to the Report ................................................................ 8 III. Issues in Internet Design and Operation........................................................ 8 A. Brief History ............................................................................................ 9 B. Modularity ................................................................................................. 9 C. Efficiency ................................................................................................ 11 D. Manageability ......................................................................................... 11 E. Innovation .............................................................................................. 12 F. Subsidies ................................................................................................. 13 G. Specific Example: Inter-Domain Quality of Service....................... 15 H. Why the Internet Works ...................................................................... 16 IV. Issues in Mobile Network Design and Operation ....................................... 18 A. Brief History .......................................................................................... 18 B. Modularity ............................................................................................... 19 C. Efficiency ................................................................................................ 20 D. Manageability ......................................................................................... 20 E. Innovation .............................................................................................. 23 F. Specific Example: Voice over LTE ..................................................... 25 G. Status of Internet Design and Wireless Networks .......................... 26 V. The Mobile Network Infrastructure ................................................................ 26The informaTion Technology & innovaTion foundaTion | sep Tember 20 09 page II
  4. 4. T h e I n f o r m aT I o n T e c h n o l o g y & I n n o v aT I o n f o u n d aT I o n A. Essential Parts of the Mobile Network ............................................. 26 B. Spectrum ................................................................................................. 27 1. Licenses ........................................................................................... 27 2. Efficient Use ................................................................................... 28 3. Roaming .......................................................................................... 28 4. Coordination................................................................................... 28 C. Base Station Siting ................................................................................. 29 D. Backhaul ................................................................................................... 30 1. Technologies ................................................................................... 31 2. Specific Examples: GigaBeam and Ceragon ............................. 31 3. Backhaul Bottom Line .................................................................. 32 VI. Emerging Mobile Internet Applications ....................................................... 32 A. Content Delivery ................................................................................... 32 1. Example: Kindle ............................................................................ 33 2. Benefits of Ubiquity ...................................................................... 33 3. Innovation from Differentiation ................................................. 33 B. Wireless VoIP ........................................................................................ 34 1. Example: Skype on the 3 Network ............................................. 35 2. Example: Other Ways to Skype ................................................... 35 3. Economic Implications of Skype ............................................... 36 C. Wireless Video Streaming..................................................................... 36 1. Example: Video Streaming System: MediaFLO ....................... 37 2. Example Video Streaming: MobiTV .......................................... 37 D. Mobile Augmented Reality................................................................... 38 1. Example: Layar Platform .............................................................. 38 E. Internet of Things................................................................................. 38 VI. Mobile Internet Policy Issues.......................................................................... 39 A. Net Neutrality ........................................................................................ 39 1. Transparency-based Net Neutrality Lite .................................... 39 2. Transparency................................................................................... 40The informaTion Technology & innovaTion foundaTion | sep Tember 20 09 page II
  5. 5. T h e I n f o r m aT I o n T e c h n o l o g y & I n n o v aT I o n f o u n d aT I o n 3. Content Freedom........................................................................... 40 4. Application Freedom .................................................................... 40 5. Reasonable Limits on “Device Freedom” ................................. 41 6. Managed Services .......................................................................... 42 7. Enabling Innovation...................................................................... 42 8. Specific Example: EU Telecoms Package .................................. 43 9. Services-Oriented Framework ..................................................... 43 C. Spectrum Policy ..................................................................................... 44 1. The Value of Open Spectrum ..................................................... 44 2. The Limits of Open Spectrum .................................................... 45 3. What Licensed Spectrum Does Well .......................................... 46 4. Spectrum Inventory and Review ................................................. 46 5. Reassigning Spectrum ................................................................... 47 6. Future Proofing the Spectrum ..................................................... 48 VIII. Policy Recommendations .............................................................................. 49 A. Stick with Light-touch Regulation ...................................................... 49 B. Enact a Sensible Transparency Rule ................................................... 50 C. Legitimize Enhanced Transport Services .......................................... 50 D. Define Reasonable Network Management........................................ 50 E. Preserve Engineering and Operations Freedom .............................. 50 F. Review Existing Spectrum Licenses ................................................... 51 G. Eliminate Redundant and Archaic Licenses...................................... 51 H. Protect Spectrum Subleasing................................................................ 51 I. Cautiously Enable Secondary Uses ...................................................... 51 J. Allow the Experiment to Continue ...................................................... 52The informaTion Technology & innovaTion foundaTion | sep Tember 20 09 page II
  6. 6. T h e I n f o r m aT I o n T e c h n o l o g y & I n n o v aT I o n f o u n d aT I o n List of Figures Figure 1: Classical Internet Protocol Version 4 Header.......................................... 9 Figure 2: Hot Potato Routing .................................................................................... 13 Figure 3: Mobile Technology Summary .................................................................. 17 Figure 4: Carrier-sensing overhead in an IEEE 802.11g Contention System ... 21 Figure 5: Carrier-sensing overhead in an IEEE 802.11n Contention System. .. 21 Figure 6: Deering’s Hourglass ................................................................................... 23 Figure 7: Internal Architecture of the RACS Model ............................................. 24 Figure 8: Cell tower disguised in cross by Larson Camoflage .............................. 28 Figure 9: Internet is a Virtual Network Composed of Physical Networks ....... 29 Figure 10: Cergagon FibeAir ® IP-10 Switch. ....................................................... 30 Figure 11: GigaBeam installation providing backhaul for Google’s Mountain View Wi-Fi Network............................................................................. 31 Figure 12: Amazon Kindle. ....................................................................................... 32 Figure 13: Skypephone ............................................................................................... 34 Figure 14: Example of FLO Network..................................................................... 35 Figure 15: ATSC-M/H Simulcast ............................................................................. 36 Figure 16: Beatles Discovery Tour starting at Abbey Road.................................. 37 Figure 17: Licensed LTE is more efficient than license-exempt Wi-Fi. ............. 45 Figure 18: Novatel Mi-Fi Device. ............................................................................. 47The informaTion Technology & innovaTion foundaTion | sep Tember 20 09 page II
  7. 7. T h e I n f o r m aT I o n T e c h n o l o g y & I n n o v aT I o n f o u n d aT I o n Executive Summary T en years ago, the typical network experience was limited toEven with all the network dialing-up a walled garden to see if we had mail and thenmagic we enjoy today, we’re poking around a few familiar parts of the Internet. The ad-still at a very early stage in vent of broadband networking changed this dramatically: it sped upthe development of the Mo- the Web and brought about a host of innovative new applications andbile Internet. For the Mo- services. While the Internet was permeating modern life, a parallel de-bile Internet to achieve its velopment was taking place that would have even greater significancefull potential policymakersmust do two key things: for billions of people around the world: perience we enjoy today. The floweringFirst, they need to refrain the development of the cell phone. In- of the Mobile Internet will only comefrom strangling the Mobile evitably, these two transformative tech- to pass, however, when engineering and nologies began to merge, enabling the policy collaborate to successfully over-Internet with excessive regu- rise of the Mobile Internet. come the challenges to the develop-lation, realizing that the well ment of a Mobile Internet that lives up Convergence is now beginning to re- to its full potential. For this to happen,of innovation that brought build the Web into a personalized, real- policymakers must do two key things:us where we are has not run time system that responds to the loca- First, they need to refrain from stran- tions, tastes, and whims of billions of gling the Mobile Internet with excessivedry. Second, policy makers people as they live their lives at their regulation, realizing that the well of in-need to ensure that the mo- desks, in their living rooms, or moving novation that brought us where we are through the world with the flow of ex- has not run dry. Second, policy makersbile Internet can develop the perience. Over the next decade, many need to ensure that the mobile Internetinfrastructure it needs, the more people will use the Mobile Inter- can develop the infrastructure it needs,most important part of net, and it will produce an enormous the most important part of which is array of innovations and quality of life spectrum. Policymakers need to makewhich is spectrum. benefits. tough choices, transferring spectrum from less compelling historical uses to Even with all the network magic we en- the emerging Mobile Internet. joy today, we’re still at a very early stage in the development of the Mobile In- This report examines changes that must ternet; with any luck, we’ll look back in be made to the Internet and to the mo- another ten years and wonder how we bile network to make the Mobile In- could ever have been so naïve as to tol- ternet a pervasive and universal reality erate the limitations of the network ex- in the United States and the rest of the
  8. 8. world. Some of these changes are purely technical, but of innovation. We might also expect increased fracturetheir scope affects Internet engineering as well as mo- between mobile applications and stationary ones, inbile network, device, and application engineering. The part because the bandwidth gap between the two canrest of the changes will take place in the policy sphere, only grow larger. Nevertheless, the benefits of mobilityaffecting notions of network neutrality and spectrum are so great that the rate of Mobile Internet innovationpolicy. The examination of technology is quite exten- is bound to increase beyond anything we’ve seen so far,sive, and is illustrated with specific examples of emerg- bandwidth constraints notwithstanding.ing devices and applications. Mobile networks require more extensive managementIn order to make effective policy for the mobile In- and tuning than wired networks, as their capacity is rel-ternet it’s necessary to understand the development of atively more constrained and demand for this limitedthe Internet, the dynamics of the mobile network, and capacity is more variable because of roaming. Mobilehow the converged Mobile internet differs from both networks differentiate packets by application, provid-of these ancestors. While the traditional Internet and ing very different routing and processing to voice pack-the Mobile Internet share some common features, they ets than to data packets. This differentiated treatmentoperate very differently. The traditional Internet was is a reflection of application requirements; the need fordesigned for a small group of low duty cycle, occasional it will persist after mobile networks are fully integrateduse applications for locked-down computers shared by with the Internet.a modest number of highly-skilled, trustworthy usersin a non-commercial setting; but mobile telephony’s While the design and engineering challenges to the fullheritage is one of real-time communication-oriented integration of the Internet with the mobile network areapplications, a diverse group of mobile users, and per- serious, considerable progress has been made and thesonal devices competing for market share. It’s not sur- path to success is reasonably clear. The Mobile Inter-prising that there’s friction between Internet culture net is already emerging, and with it an exciting newand mobile culture. category of applications known as Mobile Augmented Reality.The mobile network was originally designed to serveas an extension of the telephone network that added Operational challenges to the adoption of the Mobilemobility at the network edge without altering the tele- Internet are also well understood, but less easily solved.phone network’s fundamentals. Initially, it used ana- Networks operators need to build more base stations,log technology, and converted to digital in the 1990s. add more radio sectors to existing base stations, andData services were a special feature added on to the increase backhaul bandwidth. While these challengesmobile network roughly during the period of its transi- are relatively simple in the suburbs and exurbs – all ittion from analog to digital. As presently operated, the takes is money and accommodating local governmentsmobile network is still more efficient at providing tele- – they’re much more difficult in central cities and inphone service than data service. rural areas. Next generation systems such as LTE con- sume more bandwidth than traditional cellular, whichMobile data rates have doubled roughly every 30 requires a beefed up middle mile. Increased use of fi-months, as predicted by Cooper’s Law. By way of con- ber to connect cell towers with operator facilities andtrast, Butter’s Law predicts that the data rate of optical on to Internet exchanges may have positive spilloverfiber doubles every nine months. Because of this, some effects for residential broadband as more dark fiber ishave said that wireless is a generation behind wired deployed.systems and always will be. There are two key policy issues for the Mobile Internet:This is important because the rate of progress for In- net neutrality and spectrum. The net neutrality pro-ternet applications is largely driven by price/capacity ceeding currently before the FCC – the Open Internetimprovements in physical networking since the Inter- Notice of Proposed Rulemaking – proposes to envelopenet protocols have been stagnant since 1993. As Inter- the Mobile Internet within the same, highly stringent,net use shifts to wireless networks with slower intrinsic regulatory umbrella as the wired Internet. Harmonizedrates of advance, we might expect a slower overall rate regulation is philosophically appealing, but has a num-The informaTion Technology & innovaTion foundaTion | march 2010 page 2
  9. 9. ber of practical drawbacks. If the framework itself conduct. Second, policymakers should embark on awere clear and fundamentally sound, a common re- program of spectrum modernization and expansiongime would make sense: after all, the Internet is not to ensure that mobile services can continue to grow.as much as wired network as a virtual network and A special focus should be placed on the transfer ofits structure is meant to be technology neutral. How- licenses from inefficient DTV use to the general poolever, if the approach is based on preserving wired net- of spectrum available for auction.work operational norms, as it currently is, then thecommon umbrella becomes a common straightjacket, Spectrum modernization should also be employed toundesirable for both wired and mobile networks. replace inefficient federal, state and local government uses and release unneeded spectrum to an auctionSpectrum policy has historically featured conflict be- pool. Finally, regulations should encourage technicaltween licensing regimes and unlicensed “Open Spec- solutions to be developed and deployed that enabletrum” models such as the White Spaces system. With consumers to obtain the best possible service for thethe parties to this controversy in détente, the focus best prices. Doctrinaire net neutrality heavy formulasshifts to the struggle among various license holders. simply don’t accomplish these ends for mobile net-The United States unfortunately adopted an obso- works.lete standard for Digital TV ten years ago, and hasfailed to reap as large a digital dividend as Europe 1. Stick with Light-touch Regulationand Asia will gain as they transition away from analog If heavy-handed net neutrality regulation is ultimatelytelevision. Extracting poorly utilized DTV spectrum bad for investment, deployment, and adoption of wire-from broadcasters is a daunting challenge that must line networks, as it is, it is potentially a fatal disaster forbe solved by federal regulators with all the creativity mobile networks. A key way to ensure that networksthey can muster. It’s unfortunate that TV broadcast- serve the public interest is through market mecha-ing casts such a long shadow on mobile networking nisms based on meaningful competition. The Unitedat a time when 85% of Americans watch TV over a States enjoys among the most competitive intermodalcable or satellite system and few of the over-the-air wireline broadband and even stronger wireless com-subscribers watch on HD screens. The broadcast petition, with four national wireless networks, as wellfilibuster can be mitigated by offering incentives for as a number of regional networks and Mobile Virtualbroadcasters to share spectrum with each other and Network Operators (MVNOs) such as Virgin Mobile.give back the excess for auction, and by modernizing Fixed wireless networks such as Clearwire and thegovernment’s spectrum use. emerging LTE system are both reasonable substitutes for wired broadband, and the two satellite networksThe general approach we recommend is for the gov- are in the process of upgrading capacity significantly.ernment to facilitate the Mobile Internet by remov- Competition can be made more effective by ensuringing impediments to further build-out and adoption. there are minimal delays in switching between mobileSpeculative fears have played too large a role in the providers.Internet regulation debates of the last decade, andit’s more productive to shift the emphasis toward thegovernment’s role in facilitating progress. 2. enact a Sensible Transparency Rule Just as a well-functioning democracy requires an in-First, it would be a mistake to impose the “net neutral- formed citizenry, a well-functioning network eco-ity heavy” guidelines on either wired ISP networks or system requires its well-informed and honest critics.mobile networks. Rather than enacting overly pre- While the new European Internet transparency rulescriptive regulations banning experiments with new is too new to be judged a complete success, it repre-transport services and business models, the FCC sents a promising direction for which there is broadshould rely primarily on transparency and disclosure consensus. There is still disagreement regarding theto protect consumers from speculative harms, main- specific nature of required disclosure, which is un-tain active oversight of provider practices, and reserve derstandable given the complexity of network sys-direct intervention for instances of clearly harmful tems and the gap between consumer awareness andThe informaTion Technology & innovaTion foundaTion | march 2010 page 3
  10. 10. technology. The challenge for a transparency rule is the market for video streaming and telephony. If ISPsto disclose the things that must be disclosed in order who operate the so-called “eyeball networks,” includ-for users to gauge the experience they’ll have on any ing wireless mobile Internet services, serving retailgiven part of the Internet ecosystem in terms the aver- customers are permitted to compete with CDNs andage person can understand, while making additional Overlays, new application entrants can expect lowerinformation available to the audience of technologists prices and more competition, and end users can expectand policy analysts. Certain details of practice repre- a wider array of options, especially among mobile ap-sent trade secrets and need not be disclosed; the means plications.by which a particular user-visible effect is producedare less important than the effect itself. One approach 5. preserve engineering and Operations Freedomthat recommends itself is the co-regulatory approach The primary emphasis of the Open Internet NPRM’schampioned by Marsden, in which stakeholders con- framework of rules is on the preservation of users’ free-vene with the regulator to draft specific guidelines. dom to experience the Internet as they see fit, withoutToward that end, we encourage stakeholders to form arbitrary limitations. A key way to preserve this free-a working group to advise the FCC on the particulars dom is to address the dynamics of technical freedomof disclosure. that make it possible. Users experience the Internet as they do now because engineers, network operators,3. Define Reasonable Network Management and application innovators have been free to improveThe transparency rule, and its specific implementa- networks, network technology, and user experience.tion, provides insight into the boundaries of reason-able network management practices. While the use of Toward that end, the NPRM should make it clear noth-the term “reasonable” without definition is impossibly ing in the FCC’s approach denies the freedom to in-vague, anchoring management practices to service dis- vent, develop, and adopt new networking technologies,closure resolves a great deal of the mystery. We know business models, and practices that have the potentialthat a practice is reasonable if it does what the operator to enhance the Internet’s power, efficiency, vitality, orsays it does, conforms to standards devised by respon- effectiveness.sible bodies such as IEEE 802, IETF, and the ITU,and doesn’t violate basic user freedoms. We know thatit’s unreasonable if it fails to accomplish its stated pur- The FCC should consider adding two additional principles to itsposes, arbitrarily restricts the use of applications, or list: Engineering Freedom and Operations Freedom.restricts basic user rights. Beyond these general guide-lines, a Technical Advisory Group must work with the To operationalize this, the FCC should consider addingFCC to develop additional clarity regarding manage- two additional principles to its list: Engineering Free-ment boundaries and help advise on a case-by-case ba- dom and Operations Freedom. The telephones thatsis when needed. worked on the PSTN in the first year of the Carterfone regime still work 35 years later. If the cell phones we4. Legitimize enhanced Transport Services use today are still usable on the mobile network 35 yearsThere is widespread agreement among filers in the from now (or even ten years from now), that should beFCC’s Open Internet NPRM that differentiated ser- regarded as a failure of innovation. The Mobile Inter-vices for differentiated fees are legitimate in their own net is driven by an ethic of continual improvement andright, and not simply as an adjunct to network man- this principle more than any other must remain in theagement. Similar services have a long history on the forefront. Thus, we propose two additional rules forInternet, where they are known as Content Delivery the Open Internet NPRM:Networks, Overlay Networks, and Transit Networks.The logic of “pay more to get more” has long been  No part of this regulation shall be con-accepted practice. These practices have proved worth- strued as limiting the freedom of network en-while for content resellers and application service pro- gineering to devise, develop, and deploy tech-viders such as Netflix and Skype, so it stands to reason nologies to enhance the Internet or to improvethat they would be beneficial for future competitors in user experience.The informaTion Technology & innovaTion foundaTion | march 2010 page 4
  11. 11.  No part of this regulation shall be con- are experimental ones renewable day-by-day. Proven strued as limiting the freedom of Internet applications can be rewarded under this system with Service Providers, other network operators, or license of longer duration. other service providers to devise new finan- cial or business models that better align user In addition, spectrum grants for DTV greatly exceed incentives with those of network operators or consumer demand and should be reduced in the pub- application-based service providers without lic interest with the freed up spectrum auctioned off. limiting user choice. Spectrum policy should respect the public’s evident wishes and make more spectrum available for MobileThese rules make it clear that innovation is the engine Internet services for which demand is growing.that best ensures the Internet’s continued public val-ue. 8. protect Spectrum Subleasing6. Review existing Spectrum Licenses Secondary markets for licensed spectrum enabled byThe FCC needs to complete its inventory of the licens- resale and subleasing have proved useful in the U. S.,es it has issued over the years, and implement a system where dozens of Mobile Virtual Network Operatorsthat eliminates or reduces ambiguity about licenses go- (MVNOs) lease capacity from license holders anding forward. If it’s true that the FCC has somehow lost roaming agreements permit licensees to share capacity.track of some licenses, as some have suggested, this These kinds of secondary markets are also useful in theerror should be corrected. It’s simply not acceptable microwave backhaul and point-to-point space where afor the national regulator of wireless networks to lose given license holder can adjust microwave paths withtrack of issued licenses. Legislation to create a national relays and dogleg arrangements to accommodate mostspectrum map introduced by Sen. Kerry (D-MA) and effective use. Therefore it is important for policy toSen. Snowe (R-ME), is a step in the right direction. permit the trading and leasing of most licensed spec- trum.7. eliminate Redundant and archaic Licenses 9. Cautiously enable Secondary UsesOnce the license inventory is complete, it will be possi- One area of controversy concerns such secondary usesble to examine licenses to determine which are unused, as wireless underlay and overlays on licensed spectrum.which are redundant, and which can be combined with Advocates insist that such uses are non-interferingothers to free up spectrum for auction or other kinds of with properly restricted, and license holders are skepti-assignment. Part of this process will entail reassigning cal. The reality is that the nature of the interferencesome occasional uses to the control of other agencies, caused by overlay networks such as Ultra-Widebandlicense holders, or custodians of other kinds. Rarely depends on the nature of the incumbent service. Ultra-used public safety applications can be combined with Wideband interferes, in some installations, with highlyconsumer services, for example, by allowing public sensitive applications such as radio astronomy, but thissafety uses to take precedence in times of emergency. fact is known and the Ultra-Wideband waveform is ad-The general principle that should hold in the process justed accordingly. When the details of the incumbentof review is modernization, replacing archaic analog service are known, in terms of coding, modulation,applications with more spectrum-efficient digital ones. and framing protocols, overlay and underlay servicesNo single approach to spectrum management exceeds can be engineered for cooperation without interfer-all others in terms of general utility, but there should ence. Nevertheless, when details of the primary servicebe a bias in favor of spectrum custodians in either the change, interference may arise anew. For this reason,public or the private sector with vested interests in ef- all secondary uses should be required to back off andficient use. Sufficient spectrum exists, in principle, to even shut down completely until they can be certifiedmeet projected user requirements for mobile network- as non-interfering with the primary license holder.ing. There is not sufficient spectrum that we can af- The principle use of secondary services should be inford to waste large swathes on speculative projects of areas where the primary user is not active; this is theuncertain utility, however. A reasonable approach is logic behind the Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS)embodied in the White Spaces order, where all licenses system in IEEE 802.11a Wi-Fi. This system requiresThe informaTion Technology & innovaTion foundaTion | march 2010 page 5
  12. 12. Wi-Fi systems to look for the use of radar on certainchannels, and to refrain from using channels where ra-dar is found.In all cases, the burden falls on the secondary userto avoid causing interference with the primary user.Systems of enforcement for this principle need to beincorporated into all secondary use regulations; theWhite Spaces database has this capability.10. allow the experiment to ContinueThe Internet as we know it today is the fruit of a 35-year experiment. In the beginning, it was the proto-typical science project, albeit one with governmentsupport shepherded by a highly skilled and dedicatedband of researchers, champions, and developers out toprove that a new vision of networking was not onlypractical but superior to the old one.The mobile data network has a completely differentcreation story, originating in a commercial context andtargeted toward adding an important new feature tothe existing network without fundamentally alteringits nature.Each of these networks has a story, a set of champi-ons, and a vision. Each has been transformative in itsown way, giving rise to its own industry, and liberatingsome vital element of human society along the way. It’snot surprising that the convergence of these networksshould occasion debate and conflict, some of it intenseand heated.The way forward requires some give and take. It’s notenough to impose the Internet’s operational traditionson the mobile network, because the Internet’s opera-tional community has chosen not to adopt the Internetstandards most relevant to mobile networking: RSVP,IntServ, and Mobile IP. It’s not enough for mobile op-erators to demand that Internet users abandon openaccess to the web at reasonable speeds in favor of aconstrained system of locked-down portals and prox-ies. Each culture has things to learn from the other.The way forward is a careful, diligent, step-by-stepprocess beginning with reviews of historical rules andprecedents and ending in the creation of a new frame-work that will enable the next generation of network-ing to flourish. The evidence of an emerging consensusamong responsible parties in the United States and Eu-rope suggests it’s well underway.The informaTion Technology & innovaTion foundaTion | march 2010 page 6
  13. 13. Going Mobile: Technology and Policy Issues in the Mobile InternetT en years ago, the typical American advent of Broadband The advent of broadband networking changed this used the Internet through a dial- system in many ways: it sped up the Web and brought up modem. Going on-line was a indexers and mapmakers like Google and Yahoo! into the picture. It made e-mail a more useful, always-ondramatic event accompanied by a full range system, and it changed the choice formula for ISPs.of sound effects as the modem spat out a se- Instead of dozens of places to buy an equivalent low- speed service, we had a smaller number of broadbandries of tones to make a connection and then ISPs, but their service differences were real, and they actually competed on quality as well as price. More-exchanged screeches and whirs with the an- over, with the advent of broadband, the Internet beganswering modem to assess the telephone net- to create different kinds of applications, such as the Voice over IP (VoIP) systems from Vonage and Skypework’s signal quality. With luck, the network that lowered our phone bills and systems like Napstermight support 48 Kbps downstream and 33 and KaZaA that magically provided us with free enter- tainment (we later found it was pirated, of course.)Kbps upstream. The Internet Service Pro- Technically, it wasn’t hard to bring VoIP to an Inter-vider (ISP) industry was still emerging, and net dominated by the Web. VoIP is a narrowband ap-more likely than not the early Internet con- plication that scarcely consumes more bandwidth than a dialup modem. The technical demands of web surf-sumer dialed-in to a walled garden system ing are greater – all those pictures to download – butsuch as America On-Line or CompuServe. web surfing is on-again, off-again from the network’s point of view. Web pages require human time to read,The primary application of the day was e- and while that’s going on, the network has capacity to spare. Adding VoIP to this system was just like pouringmail, but the adventurous explored Usenet sand into a bucket of rocks. There was plenty of roomdiscussion groups and tried this new thing to spare as long as we weren’t too carried away with the free entertainment on The Pirate Bay.called The Web. The Web was challengingbecause it didn’t have a map, the pages were From the consumer’s point of view, the transition from dial-up to broadband was perfectly seamless.full of strange acronyms and opinions, and With broadband the web got faster, applications be- came more enjoyable, and eventually the Internet be-pictures dribbled onto the screen at a snail’s came more or less indispensible, despite the nuisancepace. Surfing the web was like wandering of spam and the occasional virus. We were no longer locked-in to the small community on AOL; we couldthe public library with your eyes closed and be inspired as well as irritated by people all over thepicking books off the shelf at random: al- world and we had much of the world’s vast stores of information, commerce, learning, and cultural heritageways unexpected. at our fingertips.The informaTion Technology & innovaTion foundaTion | march 2010 page 7
  14. 14. Rise of the Cell phone whims of billions of people as they live their lives, atWhile the Internet was permeating modern life, a par- their desks or moving through the world with the flowallel development was taking place that would have of experience.perhaps even greater significance for billions of peopleall over the world. On April 3, 1973, Martin Cooper, Even with all of network magic we enjoy today, we’rethe general manager of Motorola’s Communications still at a very early stage in the development of the Mo-Systems Division, had placed the first telephone call bile Internet; with any luck, we’ll one day look backever from a portable cell phone. By the turn of the to where we are today the same way we remember thecentury, cell phones were common business tools, and dial-up era, wondering how we could ever have beenthey eventually became the preeminent global means so naïve as to tolerate the limitations of the bygone era.of personal communication at a distance. For billions The flowering of the Mobile Internet will only comeof people in the undeveloped world, the cell phone was to pass, however, when engineering and policy col-the first telephone they ever had, and it quickly became laborate to successfully overcome the major challengesthe indispensible means of communicating. standing in the way of the development of a Mobile Internet that lives up to its full potential. For this toInevitably, these two transformative technologies be- happen, policymaker must refrain from strangling thegan to merge, giving rise to an ocean of social and eco- Mobile Internet with excessive regulation.nomic benefits and to a host of policy challenges. TheInternet had a legacy of distributed computers, open Reader’s guide to the Reportsystems designed around end-to-end arguments, a reflec- This report consists of two major parts, the first ontion of its heritage as a tool originally built to stimulate technology and the second on policy. The technologyacademic research in the new communications tech- section is a deep dive into the history and develop-nology known as packet switching.2 Cellular telephony ment of both the wired Internet and the mobile net-had a more humble legacy, as it simply aimed to extend work, ending in an explanation of the way the mobilethe reach of the existing telephone network, not re- network connects to the Internet. The information inplace it wholesale with a bombproof alternative. these sections informs the policy discussion that fol- lows by showing implications that policy choices haveConvergence on technical evolution. At the conclusion of the tech-From the engineering viewpoint, the cell phone net- nology section, the patient reader is rewarded with awork and the broadband Internet could hardly be palate-cleansing glimpse at new and emerging applica-more different: one is mobile, the other locked-down tions before the report turns fully to policy matters.in space; one is high capacity, the other narrowband;one is personal and intimate, involved in relation- One of the challenges the Mobile Internet faces is theships where “content” doesn’t exist until the moment reconciliation of the norms of two technical culturesit’s communicated, the other is part of a wide-open, that have always seen the world in different ways. C.always-on system that pulls information from multi- P. Snow was much too optimistic when declared thereple sources at once, and one is built around portable was a single technical culture; in fact, with respect tobattery-powered devices, while the other draws power the mobile Internet, there are two. The other policyfrom a plug. challenge relates to radio spectrum, which has various- ly been called the lifeblood, the oxygen, and the energyPeople now want both the Internet and mobility, so of the Mobile Internet. The report concludes with ait became necessary to bring the Internet to the cell series of recommendations for policymakers on the keyphone, just as it had once been brought to the home issues before them in the United States.phone, and vice versa. The mobile Internet borrowedsome of Steve Jobs’ pixie dust and transformed the cell ISSUeS IN INTeRNeT DeSIgN aND OpeRaTIONphone into a smartphone, and then expanded the mo- There’s a tendency to view the Internet as a force of na-bile network from narrowband to broadband. It’s now ture, something that sprang up spontaneously. In fact,beginning to rebuild the Web into a personalized, real- it’s a man-made system was designed by engineers in atime system that responds to the locations, tastes, and cultural context that could easily have been designedThe informaTion Technology & innovaTion foundaTion | march 2010 page 8
  15. 15. Figure 1: Classical Internet protocal Version 4 Header 0 4 8 16 19 31 Version IHL Type of Service Total Length Identification Flags Fragment Offset Time To Live Protocol Source of IP Address Destination IP Address Options Paddingdifferently. The different orientations of the Internet’s IP is very simple, and is in fact is more a format than“Netheads” and the telephone network’s “Bellheads” a protocol since it doesn’t describe any specific se-are the source of much unnecessary conflict. Often- quences of behavior; it’s easily implemented over anytimes it seems that members of these tribes disagree packet-switched network. TCP, on the other hand, is awith each other for the sake of it, but most of their en- complex, high performance system that can keep mul-gineering differences are related to the relative impor- tiple packets in flight between source and destination,tance of different kinds of applications within their a crucial requirement of high delay satellite networks.networks. TCP is easily an order of magnitude more complex than the rudimentary end-to-end protocols of the dayBrief History such as IBM’s Binary Synchronous CommunicationsThe Internet was conceived in the early- to mid- and ARPANET’s Network Control Program.1970s to interconnect three research networks: AR-PANET; the San Francisco Bay Area Packet Radio The Internet design team allocated functions as theyNetwork (PRNET); and the Atlantic Packet Satellite did in order to provide the greatest opportunities for experimentation with network protocols. Subsequent-Net (SATNET).3 By 2010 standards, these constitu- ly, researchers developed end-to-end arguments aligningent networks were very primitive; each was the first such function placement with a general theory of dis-of its type and computer technology was much less tributed system design, and in so doing inadvertentlyadvanced than it is today. Each was built on a differ- generated elements of the policy argument that hasent technology, and each was separately administered. come to be known as network neutrality. End-to-endAs the operational parameters of these networks var- in the hands of the policy community has very differ-ied radically, designers of the Internet protocols, led ent implications than it has in the engineering world.6by ARPA’s Bob Kahn and Vint Cerf, couldn’t rely onnetwork-specific features to pass information between Modularitynetworks; instead, they adopted a lowest common de- The Internet is a collection of separate, replaceable ele-nominator approach for the Internet Protocol (IP), ments called “modules” by engineers; its overall struc-the “datagram” network abstraction borrowed from ture has been described by philosopher David Wein-France’s CYCLADES network.4 In order to match berger as “small pieces loosely joined”.7the speeds of sending and receiving stations (called“hosts,” following timesharing terminology), the de- Modular design decomposes a technical system intosigners developed a sliding window overlay above IP functions that can be implemented in separate compo-called Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) that con- nents called “modules”. “Platforms” such as the Webformed to the model established by the CYCLADES are collections of modules. This strategy, sometimesTransfer Station protocol.5 called “divide and conquer,” has a number of benefits.The informaTion Technology & innovaTion foundaTion | march 2010 page 9
  16. 16. It enables functions to be specified, developed, and RFC 795 specified the interpretation of the Type oftested in isolation from the rest of the system, facili- Service field by ARPANET, PRNET, SATNET, andtates reuse of modules in different systems, and makes AUTODIN II.9 Because the Internet design delegatesit easy to improve the implementation of a function such matters as service differentiation to physical net-without destabilizing the entire system. works, a myth has developed to the effect that the In- ternet is a “stupid network” that can’t differentiate. InModular design is practiced in a number of technical fact the Internet leaves all functions not directly perti-fields, including computer science and network engi- nent to cross-network packet formatting and payloadneering. As the seminal work on modular computer processing to individual networks; the Internet is notsystems design was presented at the same forum as the hostile to service differentiation, but differentiation isseminal work on the design of ARPANET, it’s fair to outside the scope of internetworking.say that modular computer systems and the Internetdeveloped hand-in-hand.8 Modular design separates functions and creates design hierarchies. Modular systems such as the THE multi-Internet design begins by distinguishing internetwork- programming system and the Internet protocols orga-ing from networking, thus confining the Internet’s role nize vertically, into higher-level and lower-level func-to interconnecting networks rather than providing ba- tions, where dependency increases with altitude.sic network services. This important element of Inter-net design often escapes policy advocates, who mis- The Internet’s modular design produces benefits fortakenly believe that the Internet specifies a particular innovation by creating platforms that simplify applica-method of network operation. An Internet is a virtual tion development. Just as physical networks are plat-network (or a “meta-network”) that works with net- forms for IP datagrams, IP datagrams are a platformworks as they are, imposing a minimal set of require- for TCP, which in turn is a platform for the web, whichments. is a platform for Facebook, which serves as a platformThe Internet doesn’t care whether a member network for Facebook applications. Each platform simplifiesis public or private, fair or unfair, fast or slow, highly the creation of new applications by managing aspectsreliable or frequently broken. The operator of an In- of the application, but this simplification comes at aternet member network may route all packets on equal cost in terms of efficiency.terms, and he or she may differentiate. Internet modularity preserves the opportunity for ex-IP was initially designed to preserve service informa- perimentation on applications that take the Internet astion that may have had no meaning outside a particular a platform, and on the elements of the Internet itself,member network, such as the Type of Service specified such as TCP, IP, and the systems of naming, routing,in bits 8 – 15 of the IP header and subsequently rede- and security.fined by the Differentiated Services protocol. MINI-TUTORIaL: WHy IS INTeRNeT DOWNLOaDINg FaSTeR THaN UpLOaDINg? Each of the 1.6 billion Internet users in the world relies on fewer than 1,000 Internet Exchange Points or IXPs to get from one network to another. Between the consumer and the nearest IXP are a number of switches that “aggregate” or combine packets sent on lower speed data links onto higher speed data links. In the opposite direction, each of these switches “disaggregates” or un-combines. The number of times a wire can be aggregated is limited by the speed of the fastest technology the IXP can buy, and by the number of networks the IXP can interconnect. Currently, most IXPs interconnect ISP networks at 10 Gbps. Upload speed is therefore limited by the Internet’s traditional methods of operation. High-speed Content Delivery Networks don’t aggregate as much as large ISP networks, so their upload speeds are faster than those of ordinary consumers.The informaTion Technology & innovaTion foundaTion | march 2010 page 10
  17. 17. MINI-TUTORIaL: IS THe INTeRNeT a FIRST-COMe, FIRST-SeRVeD NeTWORk? Many advocates of anti-discrimination regulations insist that the Internet has always handled all packets on a first-in, first-out basis. This common simplification has never been true. Internet edge routers, the devices that connect ISP networks to the Internet core, are typically configured to apply a “weighted fair queuing” algorithm across either packet streams or users to ensure fair and equal access to common resources. Simply put, fair queuing systems select packets from each user in round-robin fashion. Advocates of the first-in, first out rule confuse the reality of network management with the simplified public story.efficiency of applications to transfer information quickly. It alsoThe design of the Internet generally sacrifices effi- contains a feature called “multiplicative backoff” thatciency to flexibility, as one would expect in a research divides the application’s self-imposed bandwidth quotanetwork. in half in response to each indication of congestion. The net result of these features is to prevent InternetThe separation of functions required by modular de- core data links (communication circuits) from utiliz-sign tends to reduce system efficiency by partitioning ing more than 30 percent of designed capacity.11 Giveninformation, increasing generalization, and imposing that Moore’s Law has caused data links to becomeinterface costs. An application that relies on a platform cheaper and faster since this system was deployed, itsfunction for authentication, for example, has to request benefits in terms of stability outweigh its inefficiency.and wait for authentication services from the platform. The same calculus does not apply to wireless data links,As the platform is more general than the application, however.its way of performing authentication may require moreprocessing time than the application would require if Manageabilityit performed this task itself; the benefit is that the ap- The Internet is relatively weak in terms of manage-plication programmer doesn’t need to worry about au- ability, in contrast to its constituent physical networks.thentication and can focus on the more unique aspects ARAPNET was managed from a central control pointof application logic. in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where operators wereModular organization lends generality to systems, able to view the status of each separate data link fromsimplifying higher-level components, but in so doing a single console, as PSTN operators can do. The In-increases the information-processing burden. In most ternet standard for network management, the Simplecases, this is a reasonable tradeoff: skilled system pro- Network Management Protocol (SNMP) relies on agrammers are highly paid, and hardware components system for viewing and modifying the state of physicalare cheap; modularity reduces the number of software network components that hasn’t responded well to se-bugs; and modular systems can re-use components curity challenges or the sheer growth in the Internet’sdeveloped and verified in other systems. In cases size, although it has proved helpful in tracking downwhere efficiency is a paramount goal, modularity can cybercriminals in some cases.12 SNMP is dependent inbe a burden if the system is not so well designed that any case on physical network facilities. In response tomodules are partitioned exactly according to natural SNMP’s weaknesses, the members of the Broadbandboundaries. Forum (mainly network operators) have devised an al- ternative system more aligned with the security normsThere are many examples of the Internet’s inefficiency of telephone network management, TR-069.13in action. The best well-known concerns the Internet’scongestion control system, implemented between in- The elements of the Internet unique to internetwork-terior IP routers and end-user systems.10 This system ing, principally routing and the information exchangesrequires new connections to begin in a low through- that make routing possible, are handled by IETF stan-put condition called “slow start,” defeating the desire dards such as Border Gateway Protocol (BGP). BGPThe informaTion Technology & innovaTion foundaTion | march 2010 page 11
  18. 18. was thrown together hastily in order to allow the tran- It’s likely that significant changes are coming to thesition of the Internet from the subsidized NSFNET Internet in order to improve basic manageability, espe-backbone to the current system where for-profit enti- cially in the routing function, so historical limitationsties provide network interconnection and packet tran- in BGP shouldn’t drive the network regulation debatesit. While BGP had the ability to assign and exchange one way or another. Moreover, advances in congestionQoS information in routes, it was very rudimentary management are likely to connect economics with thedue to unresolved research questions and “political” resolution of micro-congestion events. This is a rea-issues.14 Fundamentally, the problem of network-wide sonable approach for a user-financed Internet.QoS was complex and network operators were unmo-tivated to solve it in 1989 absent a compelling applica- Innovationtion need. Lackluster support for QoS routing and the The Internet has unquestionably served as a tremen-predominance of a single application slowed the devel- dously successful platform for innovation. Economicopment of large-scale QoS across the public Internet, powerhouses such as Google, Amazon, Yahoo!, eBay,which is one reason that net neutrality advocates in- Facebook, Twitter, Skype, and YouTube are householdsist that the Internet is a “best-efforts network.” BGP names thanks to the Internet, and some have becomedoesn’t alter the nature of IP, however, and there are verbs in official dictionaries.18 Successful Internet in-ways around the initial limitations in BGP regarding novations are typically file transfer-oriented web ap-QoS. plications.19 Even video streaming, the Internet’s tele- vision analogy, is implemented on YouTube and Net-BGP is in crisis, according to a report issued by the flix “Watch Instantly” as a file transfer, which is whyIETF’s Internet Architecture Board Workshop on traditional “trick play” VCR features such as fast for-Routing and Addressing in 2007.15 The transition to ward and rewind function so poorly on these systems.IPv6 and the onrush of new mobile users place re- Communication-oriented innovations such as Skypequirements on Internet edge routers that exceed the and other VoIP services don’t follow the file transferpace of progress in fundamental computer hardware paradigm, but their share of the innovation space (astechnology. well as their contribution to total Internet traffic) is relatively small.The Internet architecture and protocols also lack di-rect facilities for dealing with malicious behaviors such Web applications have predominated as long as theas bandwidth hogging and Denial of Service attacks, Internet has been a mass phenomenon, so the innova-which it relegates to network operators, IP routers, tion barrier that new systems have had to overcome isfirewalls, and Network Address Translators. The ar- co-existence with the web. This hasn’t been difficult.chitecture needn’t address these issues since the con- Like sand poured into a bucket of rocks, VoIP uses thestituent networks are perfectly capable of handling capacity that the web can’t consume because of the on-them on their own. Some advocates insist that the again, off-again “episodic” nature of web access.Internet’s architecture makes “discrimination” impos-sible.16 It’s difficult to see where this naïve idea comes Because it takes human time to read web pages, thefrom, since every IP datagram displays source and des- web generates short periods of network activity fol-tination IP addresses, and IP’s most common payload, lowed by long periods (in computer terms anythingTCP, prominently displays a destination port number over a millisecond can be considered “a long time”) ofclearly identifying the application protocol.17 Most IP inactivity. VoIP is an adaptable, persistent, narrowbandpayload is carried in clear text, so this information is application that can run with an average allocation of 4discernable to anyone with access to a shared network to 100 kilobits per second; it easily finds transmissionlink and an off-the-shelf protocol analyzer such as opportunities on all but the most overloaded broad-Wireshark. The clear-text IP format is practically an band facilities.invitation to discriminate.The informaTion Technology & innovaTion foundaTion | march 2010 page 12
  19. 19. Figure 2: Hot potato RoutingVoIP didn’t have any major problems on the Inter- to see more instances of friction between applicationsnet until a second non-web category of innovation such as Skype and BitTorrent. Some advocates whoemerged, peer-to-peer file transfer. Peer-to-peer appli- looked backwards can try to pretend that these con-cations such KaZaA and BitTorrent, used mainly for flicts are not real, but they are and they will test thepiracy,20 have an appetite for bandwidth that exceeds ability of the regulatory system to respond effectively,that of VoIP and the web by several orders of magni- and its record thus far does not inspire confidence. Fortude: The typical web page is 130 kilobytes, while the example, the FCC’s ruling on petitions filed againsttypical pirated video ranges from 350 to 1,400 mega- Comcast by peer-to-peer indexer Vuze, Inc. and a hostbytes per hour, depending on resolution.21 The typical of law professors and public interest groups in 2007peer-to-peer transaction is equivalent to loading two was troubling on both factual and legal grounds, and isweb pages per second for an hour or two. likely to be overturned by the courts.23Peer-to-peer also fills the spaces between the Internet’s Moreover, on today’s Internet, most innovation fric-rocks – the idle periods between web accesses – and tion takes place between some applications and othermakes VoIP a challenging application, and it continues applications, not just between applications and networkto do so after the user has downloaded a particular file operators. The net neutrality movement’s exclusive fo-since it is both a file server and a download client. His- cus on operator behavior obscures this very importanttorically, the Internet has relied on the good will and fact.good behavior of end users to prevent the instancesof congestion that can cause applications to fail, but Subsidiespeer-to-peer design chooses not to comply with thesevoluntary norms of conduct.22 The Internet’s current business models effectively sub- sidize content-oriented innovation. Packet routing fol-As innovation seeks opportunities beyond the web lows a model that assigns the lion’s share of informa-paradigm and applications diversify, we should expect tion transfer costs to the ISPs that are content receiv-The informaTion Technology & innovaTion foundaTion | march 2010 page 13
  20. 20. ers, rather than content creators and middlemen. As mediate customers do in fact pay most of the costs ofIETF member Iljitsch van Beijnum explains:24 transporting packets across the Internet. In this sense, it’s somewhat analogous to how consumers pay the Unless you go out of your way to make things hap- Post Office to have a package shipped to their house pen differently, Internet routing follows the early that they bought online or in a catalog: on the Internet, exit or “hot potato” model: when traffic is destined users “order packets” from other places and pay for for another network, it gets handed over to that net- most of their delivery. Whiteacre’s complaining not- work as quickly as possible by sending it to the clos- withstanding, this is not a bad system. est interconnect location. This economic system has unquestionably helped en-When ISP executives such as Ed Whiteacre, the for- able the Internet innovations with which we’re all fa-mer CEO of AT&T, complain about innovators “using miliar by lowering entry barriers to small, new content[ISP] pipes for free,” hot potato routing is part of the creators and aggregators. Preserving this financial sys-context, because handing a packet from one network tem is perhaps the central issue for network neutral-to another also hands over the costs of transporting ity advocates who characterize deviations from it as ait the rest of the way.25 When packets are handed over counter-productive wealth transfers from innovatorsas early as possible, hot potato style, the receiving net- to incumbent operators. As Institute for Policy Integ-work ends up paying the bulk of the costs for end-to- rity economists J. Scott Holladay and Inimai M. Chet-end packet transport. tiar say:26The network diagram in Figure 2 helps us understand At its heart, net neutrality regulation is about who willhot potato routing between the Verizon customer in get more surplus from the Internet market. RetainingRichmond and the AT&T customer in San Diego. net neutrality would keep more surplus in the hands ofPackets sent by the Richmond customer leave the Ve- the content providers, and eliminating it would trans-rizon network in Chicago, and are transported most of fer some surplus into the hands of the ISPs. Changingthe way by AT&T. Packets sent by the AT&T customer wealth distribution would affect the ability and incen-leave the AT&T network in San Francisco, and are tive of the respective market players to invest in thetransported most the way by Verizon. For streaming portions of the Internet they own.applications such as YouTube and Netflix, 99% of thetraffic goes from server to user, so the receiving user’s Making retail Internet customers cover most of thenetwork pays most transit costs. The question of sur- costs of generic IP transit isn’t the end of the story,plus doesn’t arise until transit costs are covered. however. When IP transit services are completely de- coupled from content, applications, and services, theWhen we combine the practice of hot potato routing economic incentives of network operators become es-with the fact that web users receive much more data pecially misaligned with those of the innovators whosethan they transmit, by a factor two or more orders of systems depart from the traditional web model. If wemagnitude, it becomes clear that ISPs and their im- want next-generation networks (NGN) to enable next- MINI-TUTORIaL: HOW DOeS THe INTeRNeT aDapT TO aLL THeSe DIFFeReNT NeTWORkS? The Internet’s secret is that its smallest and most fundamental element is nothing more complicated than a message format, which we call “Internet Protocol.” Protocols are usually complicated procedures, but IP is simply a way of organizing messages so that they can pass between networks. The U. S. Postal Service can pass postcards to Canada Post because both postal services share a common understanding of addressing (and revenue sharing,) not because they operate the same trucks, trains, and airplanes.The informaTion Technology & innovaTion foundaTion | march 2010 page 14
  21. 21. generation applications, we probably need next-genera- Specific example: Inter-Domain Quality of Servicetion economics to align incentives, by providing send- Quality of Service (QoS) is the technical term for sys-ers of packets (e.g., application and content providers) tems that match application requirements to availablewith the ability to pay a bit more to send packets by network capabilities. Some applications, most notable“Express Mail” rather the traditional best-effort “First telephone service, require low delay or latency be-Class mail.” The complete decoupling of applications tween on caller and another, and other applicationsfrom networks creates regulatory friction and the need simply require low cost. QoS differentiation was partfor enhanced packet delivery systems. of the original design the Internet Protocol and of subsequent work by the Internet Engineering TaskHowever, the subsidy for basic packet delivery that Force on the following standards:lowers entry barriers for small businesses evaporatesfor many larger ones. Most large content-oriented  Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS)28firms use for-fee Content Delivery Networks (CDNs)  Differentiated Services (DiffServ)29to deliver packets to ISPs from nearby locations withminimal transit expenses and faster and more reliable  Integrated Services (IntServ)30delivery. Even though the large firm’s path to the ISP is  Real Time Protocol (RTP)31short and relatively inexpensive, the cost of transport-ing a single copy of a movie to a CDN and then paying  Real-Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP)32a higher fee for each copy the CDN delivers to the ISP  Resource Reservation Protocol (RSVP)33is worthwhile from the Quality of Service (QoS) pointof view. CDNs decrease ISP transit costs and reduce  Work in progress on Congestion Exposurethe traffic load on the Internet core, so they represent  Work in progress on Inter-domain routingthe happy alignment of interests that can come aboutwhen parties voluntarily choose to abandon subsidized In addition, ICANN has assigned numbers to popu-transport for enhanced service: quality improves, costs late portions of BGP Community Attributes with QoSare realigned, and the core becomes more robust. level identifiers. The idea that the Internet requires aThese things are true when the ISP provides the CDN single service level persists because of the confusionservice as well. between theory and practice, architecture and imple- mentation. Recall that BGP was created in a few short monthsIf a blunt packet non-discrimination mandate were in effect, out of the necessity of replacing the NSF backbone,wireless operators would not be able to sell “bulk mail” packet at a time when nearly all Internet use was file trans- fer oriented. BGP is a mechanism that allows networkdelivery to firms like Amazon at attractive prices. operators to exchange routes based on policy, such that each partner network of a given network opera- tor can be shown a different set of routes tailored toAn additional complication in the existing system of the business relationship between the networks. BGPallocating payments on the Internet arises in the so- is capable of advertising routes based on a variety ofcalled “middle mile” networks between ISPs and In- internal policies, which may reflect QoS attributes. Internet Exchange Providers (IXPs), especially in rural practice, BGP has not been used for this purpose sim-settings. As Christopher Marsden explains, Internet ply because networks have not chosen to include QoSregulators have long overlooked the economic role of routing in their terms of interconnection. The abilitythe middle mile: “until recently, many analysts did not to do this has always been present, but the will hasfully appreciate that so much traffic on the Internet been lacking for a number of reasons.was monetized and had to pay its way.”27 High transitfees are the reason some small ISPs (e.g. Wireless ISP For one thing, there’s little to be gained in applyingLARIAT in Laramie, Wyoming) ban the use of P2P QoS on the high-speed links (40 and 100 Gbps) thatoutright on their lowest-tier pricing plans. form the Internet’s optical core. Active QoS measuresThe informaTion Technology & innovaTion foundaTion | march 2010 page 15
  22. 22. are most valuable on data links where load is highly BGP prefers more specific routes over general ones, sovariable, but the core is so far removed from statistical as soon as the bogus Pakistani routes were advertisedvariations and so well provisioned for peak load that across the Internet they became the preferred routesQoS measures would rarely be invoked. Core traffic for everyone; a 24-bit network address, even if it’s fake,is aggregated from so many different sources that its is more specific than the 23-bit address advertised bycontours only show slow diurnal variation. The value YouTube, even though it’s real. Making QoS a featureof QoS increases, however, as the packet traffic on the of routes would make it that much easier for malicioushighest speed links is disaggregated onto slower links users or careless administrators to exhaust network re-with more variable load. The problem with imple- sources by elevating P2P to highest priority, for exam-menting QoS at this level, between origin network and ple. This would be disastrous for the victim network.destination network, is complicated by the fact that BGP insecurity is a second barrier to wide-scale QoSthe operators of the relevant networks may not have deployment through the Internet core.a business relationship with each other. Consider twonetworks, A and B, who exchange packets through acommon transit network, C. A and B both have busi- While network neutrality advocates fear change in the Internet,ness relationships with C, but not with each other. Aand B have no reason to specify QoS with core net- engineers fear the lack of change.work C, for the reasons given. Hence, they have noagreement with each other for QoS. Nevertheless, it is a fact that most home gateways sup-Developing QoS relationships between non-core net- port user-controlled QoS, as do all major operatingworks would require a number of negotiations to take systems, as well as the Internet routers sold by majorplace that haven’t been necessary in the past. Core net- firms such as Cisco, Juniper, Huawei, and Alcatel.works – both Tier 1s and Tier 2s – can facilitate this Hence, the barriers to the implementation of end-to-process by adding QoS to the agreements they have end QoS across the Internet can be overcome. Ulti-with other, as some have done according to the cryp- mately, it’s an operational and business case problemtic information that’s publicly available about peering that can be addressed by ISPs when they see the need,agreements.34 What’s needed is a set of transitive35 so long as regulators haven’t foreclosed the option andagreements on core networks that transfer to edge an efficient marketplace exists in which these transac-networks automatically, essentially a marketplace like tions can be made.the stock exchange or eBay that allows the owners ofthe 30,000 networks within the Internet to make such Why the Internet Worksdeals. According to Professor Mark Handley of University College, London, the Internet “only just works.”36 It hasAnother reason that end-to-end QoS isn’t widely im- been architecturally stagnant since 1993 because it’splemented is that BGP is a fundamentally insecure difficult to make changes in such a large system exceptprotocol. Network operators misconfigure BGP route as they’re motivated by fear:advertisements on a regular basis, and a number of at-tacks are trouble for BGP. …technologies get deployed in the core of the Internet when they solve an immediate problemThe best-known example of this was the misconfigu- or when money can be made. Money-makingration of routes to YouTube by a network technician changes to the core of the network are rare in-in Pakistan intended to block access from within that deed — in part this is because changes to the corecountry. YouTube had a block of IP addresses consist- need to be interoperable with other providers toing of a 23-bit network number and 9-bit host num- make money, and changes that are interoperablebers. The Pakistani technician set his router to adver- will not differentiate an ISP from its competi-tise two 24-bit network numbers for YouTube, which tors. Thus fear seems to dominate, and changesallowed his equipment to block requests to YouTube have historically been driven by the need to fix(network administrators call this practice “blackhol- an immediate issue. Solutions that have actu-ing.”) ally been deployed in the Internet core seem toThe informaTion Technology & innovaTion foundaTion | march 2010 page 16
  23. 23. have been developed just in time, perhaps be- …there has been no substantial change at layer cause only then is the incentive strong enough. 3 [IP] for a decade and no substantial change In short, the Internet has at many stages in its at layer 4 [TCP] for nearly two decades. Clearly evolution only just worked. then the Internet is suffering from ossification. The original general-purpose Internet whichIP Multicast, Mobile IP, Quality of Service, Explicit could evolve easily to face new challenges hasCongestion Notification, secure BGP, and secure DNS been lost, and replaced with one that can onlyare all significant enhancements to the Internet ar- satisfy applications that resemble those that arechitecture that solve real problems and have not been already successful…widely adopted (although we are finally making prog-ress with DNS.) One of the implications of the Inter- … The number of ways in which [the Internet]net’s end-to-end architecture is that major changes need only just works seems to be increasing withto be implemented among all, or at least most of the time, as non-critical problems build. The mainhundreds of millions of end-user computers and net- question is whether it will take failures to causework routers that comprise the Internet. Greed alone these problems to be addressed, or whether theyhas never been sufficient to motivate such change, only can start to be addressed before they need to becollapse or near collapse has been a sufficient. The In- fixed in an ill co-ordinated last-minute rush.ternet itself only replaced ARPANET’s NCP protocolbecause ARPA issued an edict that users had to up- Primarily, the Internet works because network opera-grade to TCP by January 1, 1983 or lose access to the tors spend enormous amounts of money to ensure itnetwork. works as well tomorrow as it did yesterday when the workload was less. It doesn’t solve any problem – otherWhile network neutrality advocates fear change in the than file transfer – especially well, but it solves manyInternet, engineers fear the lack of change:37 problems just well enough for general utility. The backlog of non-deployed enhancements and upgrades Figure 3: Mobile Technology Summary39 Channel Peak Typical 3GPP Efficiency Delay Year Coding Modulation MIMO Width in D/L D/L version bits/Hz ms. MHz Mbps Mbps EDGE 1997 TDMA QPSK 5 0.5 500 WCDMA Rel 99 1999 WCDMA 1.8 150 HSDPA Rel 5 2002 3.6 100 HSUPA Rel 6 2004 7.2 0.7 - 1.7 75 7.2 HSPA 16 QAM 14.4 14.4 HSPA+21 Rel 7 2007 64 QAM 21.6 1.5 - 7 HSPA+28 Rel 7 2x2 28 HSPA+42 2009 10 42.2 HSPA+84 2010 2x2 10 84 DFTS/ LTE Rel 8 2009 2x2 1.4 - 20 150 4 -24 1.69 25 OFDM LTE OFDMA/ 4x4 300 2.67 Rel 10+ 2011 10 - 100 100 <25 Advanced SCDMA 8x4 1000 3.7The informaTion Technology & innovaTion foundaTion | march 2010 page 17

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