Communications satellites have played a role in the global Internet from the beginning, particularly as point-to-point network interconnections. Transmission aspects and link-level protocols play an important role in these configurations and have been thorougly studied.
More recently the Internet is carrying more and more multimedia contents and the World Wid Web is swamping the terrestrial Internet with traffic. Hence, attention is now being focused on multicast and proxying services in order to reduce the network load and to improve throughput and response times. The new generation of so called "Multimedia Satellites" operating in Ku- and Ka-band and exploiting inexpensive technology originally developed for direct-broadcast digital television or similar technology offer an almost ideal delivery mechanism particularly appropriate for multicasting and broadcasting. This will be mainly implemented by the protocol layers in between the link level and the application interfaces and sockets provided by the operating system in the receiving station.
This panel will focus on the protocol aspects for implementing Internet-based network services via communications satellites. Both, geostationary and low-orbiting satellites should be addressed and emphasis will be on the addressing, routing, flow and error control and delivery functions rather than the traditional link-level aspects.