Summary: Review of BillPay
Achileving Good End-to-End Service Using Bill-Pay
by Estan, Akella, Banerjee.
March 28, 2007
1 Contributions of BillPay
Billpay is a recent clean-slate idea that could revolutionize billing procedures if it were implemented
across the internet. It provides a mechanism that empowers end-users by allowing them to obtain
better service for their data by optionally paying for better service on important traffic.
At this stage Billpay is not particularly well-defined, but as presented, it could be incrementally
deployed across the internet. Since it is an optional service that doesn't affect existing non-billpay
traffic, it could be deployed by a few ISPs and show some dividends for end-users right away. Of
course its impact will be much greater once it has been implemented by tier-1 ISPS, but it makes
financial sense for ISPs to offer this service since it could fatten their revenue streams.
Bill-pay's nanopayments work at the per-packet level. This initially might seem to be unneces-
sarily fine-grained, but by doing things this way the routers in the internet are freed from having
to maintain any state, which would be necessary if this were done on a per-flow basis.
2 Shortcomings of BillPay
Billpay still seems to be in the concept stage, in fact it actually seems to have evolved somewhat
into the "A la carte" idea which was recently put forth by its authors, and it has many issues to