Broadband fast-lanes with two-sided control: Design, evaluation, and economics
Enhancing quality-of-service (QoS) for specific traffic streams by assigning them to "fast-lanes" on the broadband Internet service is a subject of intense ongoing debate. While Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have clear economic imperatives for fast-lanes paid by content service providers (CSPs), proponents of net-neutrality argue that consumer interest will be ignored in the selection of traffic thus prioritized. In this paper we propose a new solution in which ISP fast-lanes have "two-sided" control, i.e. by both consumers and CSPs. Our contributions are two-fold: (1) We develop an architecture in which ISP-operated fast-lanes can be controlled at fine-grain (per-flow) by the CSP and at coarse-grain (per-device) by the consumer, and argue why we think such an architecture can meet the needs of all three parties; and (2) We develop an economic model to guide the ISP in determining fast-lane allocation that balances the needs of the CSP against those of the consumer, and evaluate our model via simulation of trace data comprising over 10 million flows.