Network Neutrality: An Engineering Perspective with Vishal Misra

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - 14:30 to 16:00
CS 2311

Network Neutrality: An Engineering Perspective

The issue of Network Neutrality has ignited considerable public debate
recently. While the term and much of the discussion originated in the
legal community, we started looking at it from an engineering and
networking perspective a few years ago. We employed the lens of
cooperative game theory and a careful modeling of the Internet
including the topology, peering relationships and protocols used on
the Internet. Our primary conclusion is that Network Neutrality as an
issue is secondary to that of the real problem, that of lack of market
competition amongst broadband providers. We present some of our
results including our prediction back in 2008 of a rise in paid
peering (this year Netflix signed paid peering arrangements with all 4
of the top broadband providers in the US), the inadequacies of strict
Network Neutrality regulation when competition exists and our proposal
of a Public Option ISP that solves the problems of a "non neutral
network" without needing any regulatory support. We also discuss some
open issues regarding Network Neutrality in the wireless context.

Vishal Misra is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Columbia University. His research emphasis is on mathematical modeling of networking systems, bridging the gap between practice and analysis. He served as the Vice-Chair of the Computer Science Department at Columbia University from 2009 to 2011, and in 2011 he spun out Infinio, a company in the area of datacenter storage. The company is based in Kendall Square and employes more than 50 people. He is also credited with inventing live-microblogging at Cricinfo, a company he co-founded while a graduate student at UMass Amherst, predating Twitter by 10 years. Cricinfo was later acquired by ESPN and is still the world’s most popular sports portal.

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Network Neutrality: An Engineering Perspective with Vishal Misra