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Georgia Tech Proposes Internet Consumer Nutrition Label

By Georgia Tech News

August 5, 2011

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A recent Georgia Tech University study of Internet service providers (ISPs) concluded that ISPs should provide easy-to-understand information about service-limiting factors to provide users with better ways of measuring their performance.

Many home Internet users run multiple applications at the same time that can affect performance, says Georgia Tech professor Nick Feamster. The researchers made their recommendations based on data from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission and from Project BISMark, an independent study of an open source router platform that enables users to continuously monitor the performance they are getting from their ISP.

In addition to proposing an Internet "nutrition label" that would detail network performance in terms of throughput, latency, and other measurements, the researchers have included mechanisms in the BISMark router to give priority to latency-sensitive applications so that they can function normally while other programs consume the remaining bandwidth.

"Ultimately, we envision the platform enabling applications that solve a much wider range of problems, such as giving users the ability to manage usage caps that ISPs are now instating, to implement parental controls, or to diagnose performance problems inside the home itself," Feamster says.

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Abstracts Copyright © 2011 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA

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