The Post Bandwidth Era: Modeling an Internet Nutrition Label
How do you measure what “good Internet” means across a range of users in varying parts of the country when no reliable measure of goodness exists? Is the FCC standard speed of 25 Mbps/3 Mbps good enough for most Americans? ISPs are able to deliver high speed broadband to residential users, but availability varies widely, performance measurement is opaque and varied, and accurate locations of infrastructure are hard to come by. The concept of Internet quality needs re-examination. The technical community correlates last mile speed as the measurement of goodness, but this makes assumptions about how the network is engineered, where and how physical interconnects are made, and the location of the physical infrastructure. Holistic metrics of goodness need to include non-quantitative inputs such as end user productivity, connection security, and privacy of user data. I’ll explore how we get reliable, independent, open measurement of Internet performance at scale and how we can translate that into meaningful definitions of goodness in a Post Bandwidth world.
Anita Nikolich most recently served as Program Director for Cybersecurity at the National Science Foundation (NSF), worked on scientific cyberinfrastructure at the University of Chicago, and has held a variety of roles in industry and government. While at the NSF she expanded the Transition to Practice program to draw upon innovative basic computer science and security research to solve complex, real world problems. She currently does work in cryptocurrency security and analytics and remains optimistic about bringing together academia, industry and government.