Comcast is the largest home Internet provider in the United States. In fact, by revenue, Comcast is the world’s largest broadcasting and cable company.
Through organic growth and acquisitions, Comcast has grown to serve more than 20 million Internet subscribers throughout most of the United States.
As one of the world’s largest Internet providers, Comcast faces some interesting challenges. Managing a diverse network as large as theirs requires effective solutions that don’t introduce complexity.
Additionally, Comcast is a pioneer in the introduction of DOCSIS 3.0 and IPv6, so solutions must be able to evolve with the network.
Finally, Comcast operates under the ever-shifting environment of Network Neutrality within the United States, so any potential traffic optimization solutions must adhere to certain guidelines in order to be accepted into the network.
Comcast outlined this system in RFC 6057. Quoting that RFC:
The…Congestion Management server…uses the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) to measure CMTS port utilization and detect when a port is in a Near Congestion State. When this happens, the Congestion Management server then queries the relevant IPDR data for a list of cable modems meeting the criteria set forth above for being in an Extended High Consumption State. The Congestion Management server software deployed was developed by Sandvine.
The overall approach addresses network congestion only when and where it appears, protecting the quality of experience for the maximum number of subscribers.
Success Story: Comcast Gives Everyone a Fair Share of Bandwidth
We all know the story: traffic volumes are exploding, largely driven by over-the-top video services. As one of the world’s largest Internet providers, and operating in a market with mature video services, Comcast faces this challenge more than most.
To protect subscriber quality of experience while delivering ever-increasing amounts of traffic, Comcast relies on Sandvine’s congestion management capabilities.