Study reveals causes of core Internet congestion - Netflix, Comcast to discuss at DC net neutrality event 6/18

We have heard a lot of debates over network neutrality, especially in recent headlines involving Netflix and Comcast. Some have argued for the creation of fast lanes due to Internet congestion. But just how congested is the Internet? And what’s causing the congestion?

CSAIL researcher David Clark will present the results of a new empirical study that measures the location and extent of congestion in the core of the Internet. The study takes a close look at the links on the Internet where different ISPs interconnect and pass traffic between their networks. It also measures the critical links where high-volume content providers, such as Netflix and YouTube, interconnect with ISPs’ networks.

Given the ongoing Net Neutrality proceedings in Washington this important research could not be timelier. After the presentation a panel of discussants from academia and industry — including Netflix and Comcast — will discuss the work's implications.

This briefing is based on joint work by the Information Policy Project at MIT and the Cooperative Association for Internet Data Analysis (CAIDA) at UCSD and presented by MIT’s Dr. David D. Clark. Attendees will be provided a more complete abstract of the paper. The abstract will be available online after the event.

Date: Wed, June 18, 2014
Time: 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Location: Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2237 (U.S. House of Representatives)
RSVP: Register via EventBrite (This is a widely attended event.)
Share: On Twitter, Follow @MIT_CSAIL, @NetCaucusAC, using #NNData


  • David Clark, Senior Research Scientist, MIT/Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory [Bio]


  • Kevin McElearney, SVP Network Engineering, Comcast [Bio]
  • Ken Florance, VP, Content Delivery, Netflix [Bio]
  • Gene Kimmelman, President and CEO, Public Knowledge [Bio]
  • Matthew Luckie, Postdoctoral Fellow, CAIDA [Bio]
  • Daniel Weitzner, Director, MIT CSAIL Decentralized Information Group [Bio] (Moderator)

This widely attended educational briefing is hosted by the Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee (ICAC), part of a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization. Congressional staff and members of the press welcome. The ICAC is a private sector organization comprised of public interest groups, trade associations, non-profits, and corporations. The ICAC takes no positions on legislation or regulation. Rather, it’s a neutral platform where thought leaders debate important technology issues that shape legislative and administration policy in an open forum. We vigilantly adhere to our mission to curate balanced and dynamic debates among Internet stakeholders. Our volunteer board members ensure that we dutifully execute that mission. More information on the ICAC is available at