FCC’s Open Internet Apps Challenge

by on Apr.22, 2011, under Uncategorized

(From Challenge.gov)

Important dates

Submission Period:
Start: Feb 01, 2011 12:00 AM EST End: Jun 01, 2011 11:59 PM EDT
Judging Period:
Start: Jun 15, 2011 12:00 AM EDT End: Jul 15, 2011 11:59 PM EDT
Public Voting Period:
Start: Jun 15, 2011 12:00 AM EDT End: Jul 15, 2011 11:59 PM EDT
Winners announced:
Aug 08, 2011 12:00 AM EDT


The FCC challenges individuals or teams of researchers, inventors and software developers to produce research and create apps that empower consumers to monitor and protect Internet openness.  With this challenge, the FCC seeks to encourage and facilitate the development and use of open Internet software tools, both fixed and mobile, as well as research on relevant open Internet measurement results, methods, techniques and approaches.

(For more information about Internet openness, see www.openinternet.gov)

The winners of the Open Internet Challenge will be invited to FCC headquarters in Washington, DC, to present their work to the Commission and to be honored with an FCC Chairman’s reception.  Winning apps and research will be featured on the FCC’s website and social media outlets.  Winners will be reimbursed for authorized travel expenses.

WHAT IS THE OPEN INTERNET?The term “open Internet” describes the Internet as we know it—an open platform, that enables consumer choice, freedom of expression, competition, user control, and the freedom to innovate without permission.  On the open Internet, end users can communicate freely with others, send and receive information of their choice, and develop and use applications and services of their choosing. On December 21, 2010, the FCC adopted high-level rules of the road for broadband providers to ensure that the Internet’s openness is preserved.

OPEN INTERNET APPS CHALLENGEThe Open Internet Challenge is designed to encourage the development of creative, innovative and functional software tools that provide users with real-time data about their fixed or mobile broadband Internet connection, as well as Internet-wide patterns and trends based on aggregate data.

Today, Internet users have access to some software tools that provide real-time information on network properties such as network performance, traffic shaping, and application discrimination.  These apps enable end-users to monitor their Internet service.  The resulting data can help researchers and policy makers gain a better understanding of the evolution of the open Internet.

The Open Internet Challenge seeks to encourage the development of new, more effective applications that provide users with information about the extent to which their fixed or mobile broadband Internet services are consistent with open Internet principles.  These software tools could, for example, detect whether a broadband provider is interfering with DNS responses, application packet headers, or content.

These applications should also collect anonoymized data that can be used for network research and analysis of patterns and trends in Internet openness.

One popular platform for Internet software tools is Measurement Lab (M-Lab), “an open, distributed server platform for researchers to deploy Internet measurement tools.” Those interested in running their software tools on the M-Lab platform should contact the M-Lab steering committee, which coordinates research on the M-Lab platform.


This challenge also seeks novel and innovative research papers that analyze relevant Internet openness measurement techniques, approaches, and data.  Research on Internet openness can improve policy making and advance Internet transparency, which helps to sustain a healthy Internet.  The research must be new or recent and directly involve open Internet principles. For example such research may illuminate how widely fixed and mobile broadband providers observe the FCC’s open Internet principles, or how advanced network services can be provided in a way that adheres to open Internet principles.

Both published and unpublished papers will be accepted.  Published research papers need to have been published after January 2007.  Both published and unpublished papers are limited to 20 pages (11 point font).


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