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HTTP version 3 for delivery of Television content over the Internet

   School of Computing & Communications

   Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

A fully funded PhD iCASE studentship for UK & International applicants, including fees and enhanced stipend is available in the School of Computing & Communications at Lancaster University. The studentship is supported by British Telecom (BT) and will be jointly supervised by Lancaster University and BT.

HTTP is used for unicast delivery of video services over the Internet. HTTP version 3 is currently in development in the IETF and should provide improvements over HTTP/2 and HTTP/1.1, with the primary difference for video streaming being the use of QUIC rather than TCP for data transport. QUIC provides developers with easier access to the congestion response than TCP, which creates a research challenge to jointly optimise the QUIC congestion response and the ABR algorithm to minimise latency and maximise quality of experience. BT already has a granted patent (A33513) on this subject, but there is large scope for further innovation.

The topics for the PhD could include:

  • Accurately estimating network throughput when receiving content close to the live edge;
  • Understanding viewers’ tolerance to quality variations (where perhaps small variations are more acceptable than we think) and understanding their tolerance to micro-stalls and changes in play-out speed;
  • Developing a model of the variation of network throughput; and
  • Using accurate network throughput estimates, the understanding of viewers’ tolerance to quality issues and the network model to derive solutions to the QUIC congestion response and the ABR algorithm optimisation problem, and to assess their performance.

About You

You will have a 1st or 2:1 (Hons) degree in Computer Science (or related field), or a Masters (or equivalent) in a relevant engineering or scientific discipline or equivalent specialist experience. You need to have a genuine interest, and ideally experience, in computer networking or distributed systems and should be able to demonstrate strong computer programming skills. Evidence of research skills, for example, through a significant Bachelors/Masters project involving experimental research, appropriate use of the literature and a formal dissertation-style report will be considered a plus.

General enquiries are welcomed by Professor Nicholas Race by email at

You may apply directly: Applying for postgraduate study mentioning the “BT iCASE PhD studentship”.

Funding Notes

This PhD studentship is open to UK students and covers university tuition fees for 4 years and a tax-free maintenance grant (stipend) of over £20k per annum. The studentship also includes funding to support travel costs to present your research at national and international conferences.

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