Fred Baker, Adrian Farrel, and Benoit Claise
There has been discussion of proposals to engage in the collection of traffic flow measurement information for monitoring and to support charging and accounting. Some suggest that network interconnection points, such as the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) connections between networks operated by administrations and operating agencies authorized by national governments, would be suitable points to collect detailed information about the traffic flows and usage patterns which could then be used to charge data traffic back to its source.
BGP, which is an Internet routing protocol, has been proposed as a delivery vehicle for statistical and charge accounting information required to bill for the routing of Internet traffic for specific applications such as voice over IP. Additional discussions have built on these suggestions to see whether it would be possible for the source of a traffic flow to control the path it takes through the Internet, and for the receiver of traffic to determine what path it took.
This note offers a technical perspective on Internet routing and accounting, intended to inform the discussion.