Browse Prior Art Database

Broadband Multi-User Detection

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000146702D
Publication Date: 2007-Feb-19
Document File: 4 page(s) / 325K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a method that uses an intelligent rule set for the analysis of network traffic in an unobtrusive manner. Benefits include a solution that identifies multiple users on a single broadband circuit.

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Broadband Multi-User Detection

Disclosed is a method that uses an intelligent rule set for the analysis of network traffic in an unobtrusive manner. Benefits include a solution that identifies multiple users on a single broadband circuit.

Background

Currently, Internet Services Providers (ISPs) do not have an effective method for identifying subscribers who violate the acceptable use terms related to the reselling or provisioning of access to multiple users.

A typical acceptable use policy states that a home Internet connection can be used for up to five computers contained within one home. If the ISP can reduce the quantity of people improperly providing or utilizing access to the Internet, then revenue may go up for the ISP and subsequently, costs may go down for all consumers. To address this problem, the following must be addressed:

·        Identify when more than x quantity of computers are using an Internet connection within a household.

·        Identify when Internet connections are being provided to other households, regardless of the transport type (i.e. wireless or wired).

Unfortunately, the second point does not have a readily available solution because the data provided to an ISP does not include information that can be used to determine the geographic dimensions of the “home user’s” network.

In addition, an ISP cannot simply look at the network traffic to determine, through the counting of source IP addresses, how many distinct or unique IP addresses are originating from a consumer’s broadband connection. Because of the widespread use of home routers that offer Network Address Translation (NAT), ISPs can only identify the DHCP-assigned IP address of the router, and not the addresses on the consumer’s internal network. The NAT only shows the router’s address as the source IP address.  The home user’s network is hidden. This means that multiple additional hosts can be using one broadband connection.

Figure 1 shows the basic layout of a home network in relation to the ISP and the server components that make up the system.

General Description

The disclosed method uses an intelligent rule set for the analysis of network traffic in an unobtrusive manner, and identifies multiple users on a single broadband circuit.

The disclosed method works on the basis of a “reasonable degree of certainty”. This means that it is not possible to perform a calculation that definitively states an exact number...