TCP Over Satellite (tcpsat)

Status: Concluded February, 2000 
 Aaron Falk 
Description of Working Group:
Satellites are being used to extend the Global Internet geographically
and will be more ubiquitous in the next decade with the deployment of
several proposed services capable of providing greater than T1 access
to individual users anywhere in the world.
Yet, satellite links have a unique combination of characteristics that
can affect the throughput of TCP traffic. Because of the high-bandwidth
delay product, slow start and congestion control algorithms behave much
differently when the path includes a satellite link than exclusively
terrestrial ones.
The TCP over Satellite Working Group shall produce an informational RFC
which describes the issues affecting TCP throughput over satellite
links. It identifies the domains in which each issue applies, including
network topology, satellite orbit (LEO, MEO, GEO), and link rates;
fixes, both protocol and implementation, that ameliorate reduced
throughput; and areas for further research. The purpose of including
this information is to direct the research community to the areas in
which show promise, not to perform the research or even advocate the
The scope of this working group will include consideration of the
following for inclusion in the Informational RFC:
 o Transport layer issues affecting TCP over
   satellite links
 o Existing TCP options
 o Compliant implementations which have some known
   improved performance over satellite links
 o Recommendation of well understood protocol changes
 o Identification of protocol changes that are potentially promising
   but require more further investigation in order to be well understood
The working group will consider in depth security issues that are
relevant, describing risks and indicating how they may be addressed.

Request for Comments:

  • RFC2488 Enhancing TCP Over Satellite Channels using Standard Mechanisms (BCP)
  • RFC2760 Ongoing TCP Research Related to Satellites (Informational)