Internet Engineering research impacting standards and guidelines, benefiting equipment vendors, network operators and Internet users’ experience


Description of impact

Research conducted at the University of Aberdeen has contributed new algorithms and protocols, measurement analysis, and architectural design to Internet Standards published by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). Since 2015, the research team has published 11 specifications in the Requests for Comments (RFC) series. These are the key working documents underpinning the Internet, which have been and are being implemented by the networking industry, informing the current practice of Internet operators. Fairhurst’s RFCs are now deployed globally in products from companies such as Google and Apple.

Project summary and aims

Who is affected by, or benefits from, the research?

Outcomes to Date / Future Developments

The IETF is the primary Internet Standards Development Organisation (SDO). Its mission is to make the Internet work better by producing high quality relevant technical documents that influence the way people design, use, and manage the Internet. An open standards policy combines contributions from industry (such as Apple, Microsoft, Google, Ericsson), network operators (such as BT, Google, Akamai), leading research institutions (as in this case study) and other stakeholders, to provide the technical and operational expertise required to develop standards and industry Best Current Practice (BCP). BCP documents are published in the Request For Comments (RFC) series and can be accessed online from Fairhurst chairs the Transport area working group (TSVWG) and has co-authored 11 RFCs across the Internet and Transport areas since 2014.

RFC specifications are crucial to the day-to-day running and expansion of the Internet. Although the commercial gain yielded by such open standards is not measurable, these standards are widely used at all stages in Internet service delivery: by networking equipment designers, by network and service operators, in data centres and as a basis for enterprise. RFCs are also used as the basis for government procurement of equipment and services, and underpin other standardisation, including cellular mobile standards for 5G technology.
Impact statusImpact Completed (Open)
Impact date20122020


  • Technological