Internet Service via Broadband Satellite Networks
N. P. Butts, V. G. Bharadwaj and J. S. Baras
SPIE Voice, Video and Data Communications Symposium, Boston, Massachusetts, November 3, 1998
The demand for Internet bandwidth has grown rapidly in the past few years. A new generation of broadband satellite constellations promise to provide high speed Internet connectivity to areas not served by optical fiber, cable, or other high speed terrestrial connections. However, using satellite links to supply high bandwidth has been difficult due to problems with inefficient performance of the Internet's TCP/IP protocol suite over satellite. We describe an architecture for improving the performance of TCP/IP protocols over heterogeneous network environments, especially networks containing satellite links. The end-to-end connection is split into segments, and the protocol in the satellite segment is optimized for the satellite link characteristics. TCP congestion control mechanisms are maintained on each segment, with some coupling between the segments to produce the effect of end-to-end TCP flow control. We have implemented this design and present results showing that using such gateways can improve throughput for individual connections by a large factor over paths containing a satellite link.