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ATIS Launches Open Web Alliance

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WASHINGTON — ATIS today announced the launch of the Open Web Alliance (OWA), an initiative to develop requirements for an open service optimization proxy to meet the service needs of all stakeholders in the web ecosystem while supporting the goals of encryption and privacy. This initiative takes place in response to concerns expressed over the impact that closed proxies, such as those that incorporate the SPDY protocol, have on services and network management. SPDY has been submitted to the Internet Engineering Task Force for standardization as HTTP 2.0, which is set to be proposed as a standard in November of this year. This protocol optimizes and encrypts the communication between web server and the browser, and is being proposed as a mechanism to reduce webpage load times.

SPDY proxies redirect Internet traffic through a single opaque tunnel across the network. This bundling could hinder reasonable network management, content distribution and network services. The SPDY proxy also could “break” existing content delivery optimization mechanisms used by service providers, which would degrade service quality for consumers.

“This is an industry architecture issue that affects all Internet users, and will be best addressed in an open collaborative forum,” said ATIS President and CEO Susan Miller. “The Open Web Alliance embraces the priorities of all organizations with a stake in making integrated web services richer, faster, and more secure. It is open to all entities with established trust relationships with the user, privacy advocacy groups, industry consortiums and others.”

ATIS has developed a whitepaper, An Analysis of the SPDY Protocol and the SPDY Proxy , available in the ATIS Document Center. OWA is open to a broad range of stakeholders including web providers, network operators and device manufacturers. Both ATIS members and non-members are eligible to participate. Interested companies and organizations should contact Jim McEachern, jmceachern@atis.org. The OWA kick-off meeting takes place on Thursday, May 15, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. EDT.

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