Problem Statement: Transport Protocols Don't Have To Do Fairness

Document Type Expired Internet-Draft (individual)
Authors Bob Briscoe  , T Moncaster  , Anne-Louise Burness 
Last updated 2008-07-14
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This Internet-Draft is no longer active. A copy of the expired Internet-Draft can be found at


The Internet is an amazing achievement - any of the thousand million hosts can freely use any of the resources anywhere on the public network. At least that was the original theory. Recently issues with how these resources are shared among these hosts have come to the fore. Applications are innocently exploring the limits of protocol design to get larger shares of available bandwidth. Increasingly we are seeing ISPs imposing restrictions on heavier usage in order to try to preserve the level of service they can offer to lighter customers. We believe that these are symptoms of an underlying problem: fair resource sharing is an issue that can only be resolved at run-time, but for years attempts have been made to solve it at design time. In this document we show that fairness is not the preserve of transport protocols, rather the design of such protocols should be such that fairness can be controlled between users and ISPs at run-time.


Bob Briscoe (
T Moncaster (
Anne-Louise Burness (

(Note: The e-mail addresses provided for the authors of this Internet-Draft may no longer be valid.)