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4 Author(s)
A. Pras ; Twente Univ., Enschede, Netherlands ; B. -J. van Beijnum ; R. Sprenkels ; R. Parhonyi

This article provides an introduction to Internet accounting and discusses the status of related work within the IETF and IRTF, as well as certain research projects. Internet accounting is different from accounting in POTS. To understand Internet accounting, it is important to answer questions like “what is being paid for” and “who is being paid”. With respect to the question “what is being paid for” a distinction can be made between transport accounting and content accounting. Transport accounting is interesting since techniques like DiffServ enable the provision of different quality of service classes; each class will be charged differently to avoid all users selecting the same top-level class. The interest in content accounting finds its roots in the fast growth of commercial offerings over the Internet; examples of such offerings include remote video and software distribution. The question “who is being paid” has two possible answers: the network provider or the owner of the content. The case in which the network provider issues the bill is called provider-based accounting. Since this case will become more and more important, this article introduces a new architecture for provider-based accounting

Published in:

IEEE Communications Magazine  (Volume:39 ,  Issue: 5 )