Which Factors Affect Access Network Performance?

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Sundaresan, Srikanth
Feamster, Nick
Dicioccio, Lucas
Teixeira, Renata
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This paper presents an analysis of the performance of residential access networks using over four months of round-trip, download, and upload measurements from more than 7,000 users across four ADSL and cable providers in France. Previous studies have characterized residential access network performance, but this paper presents the first study of how access network performance relates to other factors, such as choice of access provider, service-level agreement, and geographic location. We first explore the extent to which user performance matches the capacity advertised by an access provider, and whether the ability to achieve this capacity depends on the user’s access network. We then analyze the extent to which various factors influence the performance that users experience. Finally, we explore how different groups of users experience simultaneous performance anomalies and analyze the common characteristics of users that share fate (e.g., whether users that experience simultaneous performance degradation share the same provider, city). Our analysis informs both users and designers of networked services who wish to improve the reliability and performance of access networks through multihoming and may also assist operators with troubleshooting network issues by narrowing down likely causes.
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