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Conference Paper

Characterizing Residential Broadband Networks


Dischinger,  Marcel
Group K. Gummadi, Max Planck Institute for Software Systems, Max Planck Society;


Haeberlen,  Andreas
Group P. Druschel, Max Planck Institute for Software Systems, Max Planck Society;


Gummadi,  Krishna P.
Group K. Gummadi, Max Planck Institute for Software Systems, Max Planck Society;

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Dischinger, M., Haeberlen, A., Gummadi, K. P., & Saroiu, S. (2007). Characterizing Residential Broadband Networks. In IMC'07: proceedings of the 2007 ACM SIGCOMM (pp. 43-56). New York, USA: ACM.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0028-8C6E-B
A large and rapidly growing proportion of users connect to the Internet via residential broadband networks such as Digital Subscriber Lines (DSL) and cable. Residential networks are often the bottleneck in the last mile of today's Internet. Their characteristics critically affect Internet applications, including voice-over-IP, online games, and peer-to-peer content sharing/delivery systems. However, to date, few studies have investigated commercial broadband deployments, and rigorous measurement data that characterize these networks at scale are lacking. In this paper, we present the first large-scale measurement study of major cable and DSL providers in North America and Europe. We describe and evaluate the measurement tools we developed for this purpose. Our study characterizes several properties of broadband networks, including link capacities, packet round-trip times and jitter, packet loss rates, queue lengths, and queue drop policies. Our analysis reveals important ways in which residential networks differ from how the Internet is conventionally thought to operate. We also discuss the implications of our findings for many emerging protocols and systems, including delay-based congestion control (e.g., PCP) and network coordinate systems (e.g., Vivaldi).