Does TCP need an overhaul?

Just stumbled upon an article by

Dr. Lawrence G. Roberts, CEO, Anagran Inc.

He discusses the idea of solving Internet Congestion by Fixing the TCP protocol. Here is an excerpt

There has been widespread discussion lately about the unfairness of the primary protocol we rely on with the Internet – Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) – along with many proposals on how to fix it. Since there are clearly many problems with both slow and unfair service, my question is: Should TCP be overhauled to fix today’s congestion control problem, or does the network itself need fixing?

First, the problems include:

  • Multi-flow unfairness – More flows, such as P2P, can consume too much capacity
  • Distance unfairness – Long-distance users get slower service
  • Loss unfairness – Random packet loss slows flows unevenly; Web access is slowed

He then goes on discuss various specific congestion problems and proposes some ways to solve it by mucking with the TCP protocol itself. It is a very good article!

I Just wanted to point out that inside the NetEqalizer we have already brought back fairness to many congested networks without retrofitting TCP. I just wish we were a little better at getting the word out!

Here is the link to the full article

Eli Riles

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