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InterStream Pilot & Commercial Roll-Out

The InterStream Pilot has three phases. Each phase is designed to ensure that specific technical and business objectives are met prior to progressing to the next phase. InterStream will adhere to the following principles and has used these as a basis for establishing its pilot plan.

  • End-users will be enabled to objectively compare the quality of their broadband service through access to transparent metrics
  • ISPs and network operators will be able to evolve their wholesale bandwidth agreements under a free-market economy to flexibly establish new business agreements and meet the needs of broadband consumers, and media distributors
  • Media distributors will have access to guaranteed quality streaming services to distribute licensed content. Pirates and online distributors distributing unlicensed, pirated content, will be thwarted in any attempt to use the premium services.
  • Third parties, such as CDN operators, hosting companies, and other value-added service providers may fully participate in the pilot and are invited to extend the capabilities of the media grid through use of the open source code base, and Mediated Bandwidth Agreement (MBA)

Phases of Implementation:

  1. The first phase implementation is focused on testing "diamond lane" services on the Internet through the deployment of ISTP plugin and Media Grid Engines.
  2. The second phase will deploy Secure Mediation Controllers at ISP bottlenecks to test throttled network services via the use of transit keys. InterStream will begin rolling out ISTP service broadly across the Internet in a full commercial release.
  3. The third phase secures the media grid distribution and includes a hardware-based playback device connected to the television which also offers a new advertising model. This phase will complete full roll-out of the secure commercial implementation.

A list of the initiatives specified for each of the three phases follows. These initiatives and phases are integrated into a set of InterStream Projects which have associated commercial sponsors.

Phase I - Initial Media Grid Operation

Initial ISTP Plugin
End-users will install the ISTP browser plugin and test high-quality streaming services from partner media companies and websites. InterStream will partner with an existing ICANN accredited domain name registrar to offer ISTP names under the Sunrise / Sunset period rules. Partners and other existing domain name holders may purchase ISTP names during this period.

The ISTP plugin will provide detailed statistics about the operation of the media grid as well as the quality of bandwidth from participating ISPs. These metrics will be made available in public form and used as a basis for setting InterStream Stream Blocking Probability standards for the media grid. The media grid management portal will provide performance metrics and bandwidth consumption information to network operators. Results will be reported to the IOB.

MBA Peering & Transit Agreements
The Association will test the effectiveness and business interaction required under an open source license for the media grid and the requirements this places on peered Tier 1 and Tier 2/3 "transit" ISPs. This agreement is key in that it must allow network operators to efficiently receive service and enable interoperability of the grid across multiple administrative boundaries. The IOB network operator subcommittee will oversee the direction of this initiative.

A submission for an IANA port number for ISTP will be completed at the end of this phase I.

Note: One ISP participating in Phase I of the Pilot will be testing a MPLS-based VPN solution with QoS to objectively compare the performance of an ISTP plus QoS-based approach versus the TCP-mediated system technology. The peering standards used for the MPLS-based implementation will be reviewed by technology working and InterStream Oversight Board. Please email mpls@interstream.com for more information if you also would like to participate by using your MPLS-based variation of the media grid implementation.

Phase II - Secure Medation Controller Bandwidth Allocation and Commercial Roll-Out

Transit Key Registry
Cambix will begin operation of a transit key registry to facilitate InterStream premium bandwidth exchange services between ISPs. The registry will enable ISPs to determine who can share ISTKs with other ISPs as well as manage their peering and transit contracts. ISPs and network operators will be responsible for their own inter-party settlement.

Secure Active Queue Management
Cambix will offer in partnership with a major network equipment manufacturer an embedded SMC implementation for edge services routers to deploy that will mediate bottlenecks to secure them against malicious or unfair use. This solution will be initially embedded into a micro/advanced-TCA platform for use by network equipment manufacturers wishing to participate in the pilot test.

Edge Services Router Implementations
At least one Edge Services router implementations will be available from a major telecommunications equipment vendor. ISPs may participate in beta test agreements with participating network equipment manufacturers. Check back here for more details.

Near the beginning of the second phase, the media grid will become commercially operational and support basic streaming features. Secure, trusted network support and ISML will be implemented in third phase but not required for portal customers to offer the content on the system.

Phase III - Commercial Implementation of Secure ISTP Streaming through Closed-Hardware Playback Units

Secure ISTP Hardware Subsystem
A major consumer electronics company will be offering test units that secure ISTP (S-ISTP) for early release window content. This portion of the system is analogous to secure HTTP (HTTPS) on the web. The secure playback units will be made available in either a TV set or separate "net-top" playback unit which connects to a TV. This subsystem is similar to conditional access system used in cable and satellite networks today. Secure playback requires a separate security card in order for subscription to premium InterStream services. The overall goal of this initiative is to offer media company the use of a "trusted media grid implementation" with highly secured closed hardware system for playback of first run movies and premium subscription content.

ISML Integration
ISML will be offered as an initial implementation. The markup language will enable televisions and other non-personal computer devices to offer hyperlinked video that can be formatted for the screen, and seamlessly used by a Tri-TouchTM remote control. Limited syndication control and support will be offered in v0.9 of ISML during this phase.

Net-Top Television with Industry Standard Tri-TouchTM Remote
A major consumer electronics company will offer a S-ISTP playback system with an integrated bluetooth remote control. The remote control will be the industry's first standard remote for ISTP-based content. It will be interoperable with other TVs much like mice and keyboards may be purchased today from various hardware manufacturers computers. The goal of this initiative will be to demonstrate an interoperable net-top software implementation or ISTP browser for the TV that is secure and works seamlessly with a Tri-TouchTM remote control. The consumer electronics company participant will gain a first-mover advantage and the ability to provide secure playback subsystems to other manufacturers. Unicast playback of ordinary URLs will be made available to the device as well as ISTP-supported browsers.

A submission for an IANA port number for S-ISTP will be completed at the end of this phase III.


At the completion of the pilot, InterStream expects the following to occur:

  • ISTP will be standardized for transparent access using a standard IANA port number. Stealth use of ISTP may occur with ISPs who have chosen not to participate in the InterStream association.
  • Existing website owners may purchase ISTP names from a major domain name registrar
  • Secure playback devices will be offered by one or more major consumer electronics manufacturers
  • Several major network equipment manufacturers will offer SMC-based Edge Services Router solutions
  • ISPs may optionally use inter-party settlement for their transit and other wholesale bandwidth agreements
  • The ISTP plugin will support the major browsers in the industry: Safari, FireFox and Internet Explorer
  • The MBA & ITOSA will be complete with network operators, and portal owners using them, respectively
  • Consumers may begin subscribing to secure ISTP services using standard InterStream-card enabled systems
  • Consumers will have an effective tool using their ISTP plugin to objectively measure the quality of their broadband providers' offered services per the mediation policies set by their ISP
  • All software components used in the media grid operation will be at First Customer Ship (FCS) v1.0 quality or greater with multiple network operators offering media grid hosting services
  • Multicast distribution of standard definition "Television" services will be available to consumers as streamed from ordinary URLs
  • Industry standard third party Tri-TouchTM remote controls may be used across multiple television equipment manufacturers
  • ISML will be offered as a 1.0 version (v1.0). This release will offer limited syndication services, graphical user interface integration with a Tri-TouchTM remote control, and meta-data information for content playback use.
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Page last modified on March 21, 2013, at 11:25 PM PST