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Jennifer Rexford – Open Internet Challenges in Mobile Broadband Networks

Thursday, December 13, 2012
12:30 pm


Sherrerd Hall, 3rd floor open space
Princeton, NJ 08544 United States + Google Map

Streaming Live:
Food and discussion begins at 12:30 pm. Everyone invited.

Earlier this year, the FCC created the Open Internet Advisory Committee (OIAC) to provide recommendations regarding policies and practices for preserving an open Internet. Professor Rexford serves on the OIAC and chair its Mobile Broadband working group, which is reviewing the state of mobile broadband networks and exploring how well Open Internet principles are working in practice. With the justification that mobile broadband networks are a newer technology with unique characteristics, the FCC’s Open Internet Order treats these networks differently than traditional fixed networks. While both fixed and mobile broadband providers must disclose their management practices, mobile broadband providers have greater latitude for blocking devices and applications (as long as they do not compete with the provider’s own voice or video telephony services) and discriminating in how they serve traffic, in accordance with reasonable network-management practices. In this talk, Professor Rexford will give an overview of the working group’s case study of AT&T’s restrictions on the use of Apple’s FaceTime application over its cellular data network, and briefly discuss the unique challenges imposed by “chatty” mobile applications that place a large signaling load on cellular networks.

Professor Rexford, who came to Princeton in 2005 after eight and a half years at AT&T Research, is interested in Internet policy and Internet governance, stemming from her longstanding research on computer networks. She co-chairs the Secure BGP Deployment working group of the FCC’s Communications Security, Reliability, and Interoperability Council, and chairs the Mobile Broadband working group of the FCC’s Open Internet Advisory Committee. Collaborating with a multi-institution group of colleagues, she has published papers on “Risking communications security: Potential hazards of the Protect America Act” (IEEE Security and Privacy) and “Can it really work? Problems with Extending EINSTEIN 3 to critical infrastructure” (Harvard Law School’s National Security Journal).