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Saturday, September 26 • 2:00pm - 2:32pm
Measuring Residential Broadband for Policymaking: An Analysis of FCC's Web Browsing Data

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Paper Link

This paper presents an analysis of F.C.C.-measured web page loading times as observed in 2013 from nodes connected to consumer broadband providers in the Northeastern, Southern and Pacific U.S. We also collected data for multiple months in 2015 from the MIT network. We provide temporal and statistical analyses on total loading times for both datasets. We present four main contributions. First, we find differences in loading times for various websites that are consistent across providers and regions, showing the impact of infrastructure of transit and content providers on loading times and Quality of Experience (QoE.) Second, we find strong evidence of diurnal variation in loading times, highlighting the impact of network and server load on end-user QoE. Third, we show instances of localized congestion that severely impair the performance of some websites when measured from a residential provider. Fourth, we find that web loading times correlate with the size of a website’s infrastructure as estimated by the number of IP addresses observed in the data. Finally, we also provide a set of policy recommendations: execution of javascript and other code during the web browsing test to more adequately capture loading times; expanding the list of target websites and collecting trace route data; collection of browsing data from non-residential networks; and public provision of funding for research on Measuring Broadband America’s web browsing data. The websites studied in this paper are: Amazon, CNN, EBay, Facebook, Google, msn, Wikipedia, Yahoo and YouTube.


Paul de Sa

Bernstein Research

avatar for Alex Gamero-Garrido

Alex Gamero-Garrido

PhD Student, MIT | UC, San Diego
I am a computer networking and public policy researcher. In particular, I am interested in measurable network properties and their impact on social systems. My TPRC paper is a good example: it uses network performance data, in particular website loading times, as a way to infer variations in user-perceived connection quality. | | Recently I finished my masters in Technology and Policy at MIT, supervised by Dr. David Clark at CSAIL; I am... Read More →

Saturday September 26, 2015 2:00pm - 2:32pm
GMUSL - Room 225

Attendees (22)