by Nikolaos Laoutaris and Pablo Rodriguez
From its conception the Internet has been a communication network, meaning its development has been driven by the assumption that connections and data transfers are sensitive to delay. Spatial optimization in the form of routing has therefore been the main tool for improving services offered by the network. Temporal optimization, in the form of scheduling, has been limited to millisecond-second scales and aligned with the requirements of interactive delay-sensitive traffic. In recent years however, the network has been progressively shifting from communication to content dissemination. Unlike communication, content dissemination can often tolerate much larger delays, eg in the order of hours. This higher tolerance to delay allows scheduling to go beyond congestion avoidance. Here, we briefly illustrate how to use store-and-forward scheduling to perform bulk data transfers that may be impossible or, under current pricing schemes for bandwidth, prohibitively expensive.