About The Open Web Alliance

The Internet is a vibrant ecosystem based on reliable service delivery that supports innovation to provide a rich user experience—all through an intricate web of collaboration. Changes to the underlying protocols and architecture can have far-reaching technical and business implications. An ATIS initiative, the Open Web Alliance (OWA) recognizes that key decisions about Internet architecture are best handled through open, multi-stakeholder collaboration. OWA will enable richer, faster and more secure web services by addressing the challenges of proprietary proxies. The initiative will develop critical requirements for an open service optimization proxy that supports all stakeholder needs in the Internet service delivery value chain, including users’ needs for encryption and privacy. Both the technical requirements and the business model implications for the realization of open service optimization proxies that benefit the whole Internet will be considered.


Web content is becoming more complex both in size and in the number of separate connections/requests made each second. Unfortunately, protocols such as HTTP (application level request/response) and TCP (reliable transport) were not designed to handle today’s larger, composite web pages. As a result, performance, especially in terms of page load times, suffers. These factors provide motivation to speed up the web (performance optimization), and have led to the development of the SPDY protocol and its deployment in proprietary proxies.

SPDY has been submitted to the IETF for standardization as HTTP 2.0, which is set to be proposed as a standardized protocol in November of 2014. However, the proprietary proxies, such as those that incorporate the SPDY protocol, do not give the user a voice in the trade-offs between speed, efficiency and privacy. SPDY proxies are one example of proprietary proxies that 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 could “break” the existing content delivery optimization mechanisms service providers use, which would degrade service quality for consumers.

ATIS has developed a whitepaper, An Analysis of the SPDY Protocol and the SPDY Proxy that discusses this in more detail.

Open Web Alliance Guiding Principles

OWA is committed to an open dialog among all stakeholders to develop open service optimization solutions that allow the consumer to play a role in selecting solutions tailored to their individual requirements. It encompasses the following elements:

  • Collaboration with the broader ecosystem stakeholders to identify the requirements for solutions that do not conflict with each other and that do not infringe on the established trust relationships with the user. Today, solutions are being developed and implemented independently, without explicit consideration of the broader ecosystem impacts.
  • Collaboration with privacy advocacy groups to promote the use of secure communications and educate the user community on the various aspects of security including trust, user consent and transparency.
  • Collaboration with regulatory bodies in realignment with the current reality of Internet usage, based on trends, technologies and service deployments.

Open Web Alliance Will:

  • Define requirements for an open service optimization proxy.
  • Propose solutions that would help users make informed decisions about performance tradeoffs.
  • Propose an approach to help optimize performance for all Internet users, whether wired, wireless or satellite.
  • Provide predictable behavior for applications by providing open specification of proxy behavior.

Join OWA

Get started with OWA by completing the Participation Form.

For questions about OWA membership contact .

For questions about OWA email list contact .