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Broadband characterization has recently attracted much attention from the research community and the general public. Given this interest and the important business and policy implications of residential Internet service characterization, recent years have brought a variety of approaches to profiling Internet services, ranging from Web-based platforms to dedicated infrastructure inside home networks. The authors have previously argued that network-intensive applications provide an almost ideal vantage point for broadband service characterization at sufficient scale, nearly continuously and from end users. While they have shown that the approach is indeed effective at characterization and can enable performance comparisons between service providers and geographic regions, a key unanswered question is how well the performance characteristics captured by these network-intensive applications can predict the overall user experience with other applications.
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