The utility argument – making a case for broadband SLAs

Zachary S. Bischof*, Fabian E Bustamante, Rade Stanojevic

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Scopus citations


Most residential broadband services are described in terms of their maximum potential throughput rate, often advertised as having speeds “up to X Mbps”. Though such promises are often met, they are fairly limited in scope and, unfortunately, there is no basis for an appeal if a customer were to receive compromised quality of service. While this ‘best effort’ model was sufficient in the early days, we argue that as broadband customers and their devices become more dependent on Internet connectivity, we will see an increased demand for more encompassing Service Level Agreements (SLA). In this paper, we study the design space of broadband SLAs and explore some of the trade-offs between the level of strictness of SLAs and the cost of delivering them. We argue that certain SLAs could be offered almost immediately with minimal impact on retail prices, and that ISPs (or third parties) could accurately infer the risk of offering SLA to individual customers – with accuracy comparable to that in the car or credit insurance industry – and price the SLA service accordingly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPassive and Active Measurement - 18th International Conference, PAM 2017, Proceedings
EditorsSteve Uhlig, Johanna Amann, Mohamed Ali Kaafar
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9783319543277
StatePublished - 2017
Event18th International Conference on Passive and Active Measurement, PAM 2017 - Sydney, Australia
Duration: Mar 30 2017Mar 31 2017

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume10176 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Other18th International Conference on Passive and Active Measurement, PAM 2017
City Sydney

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


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