Reducing the acknowledgement frequency in IETF QUIC

Ana Custura* (Corresponding Author), Tom Jones, Raffaello Secchi, Gorry Fairhurst

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
26 Downloads (Pure)


Satellite networks usually use in-network methods (such as Performance Enhancing Proxies for TCP) to adapt the transport to the characteristics of the forward and return paths. QUIC is a transport protocol that prevents the use of in–network methods. This paper explores the use of the recently–standardised IETF QUIC protocol with a focus on the implications on performance when using different acknowledgement policies to reduce the number of packets and volume of bytes sent on the return path. Our analysis evaluates a set of ACK policies for three IETF QUIC implementations, examining performance over cellular, terrestrial and satellite networks. It shows that QUIC performance can be maintained even when sending fewer acknowledgements, and recommends a new QUIC acknowledgement policy that adapts QUIC's ACK Delay value based on the path RTT to ensure timely feedback. The resulting policy is shown to reduce the volume/rate of traffic sent on the return path and associated processing costs in endpoints, without sacrificing throughput.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-330
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Satellite Communications and Networking
Issue number4
Early online date24 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Ana Custura is funded by the School of Engineering at the University of Aberdeen to perform transport protocol research on paths with different characteristics. Tom Jones is funded by the European Space Agency to research the evolution and impact of QUIC on satellite systems. Funding information

Data Availability Statement

The data that support the findings of this study are openly available in ijscn-reducing-ack-frequency-captures at


  • ACK
  • QUIC
  • satellite


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