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We consider the problem of architecting a reliable content delivery system across an overlay network using TCP connections as the transport primitive. We first argue that natural designs based on store-and-forward principles that tightly couple TCP connections at intermediate end-systems impose fundamental performance limitations, such as dragging down all transfer rates in the system to the rate of the slowest receiver. In contrast, the ROMA architecture we propose incorporates the use of loosely coupled TCP connections together with fast forward error correction techniques to deliver a scalable solution that better accommodates a set of heterogeneous receivers. The methods we develop establish chains of TCP connections, whose expected performance we analyze through equation-based methods. We validate our analytical findings and evaluate the performance of our ROMA architecture using a prototype implementation via extensive Internet experimentation across the PlanetLab distributed testbed.