Re: [rtcweb] Benjamin Kaduk's No Objection on draft-ietf-rtcweb-fec-08: (with COMMENT)

Justin Uberti <> Sat, 23 February 2019 01:10 UTC

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From: Justin Uberti <>
Date: Fri, 22 Feb 2019 17:10:35 -0800
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To: Benjamin Kaduk <>
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Subject: Re: [rtcweb] Benjamin Kaduk's No Objection on draft-ietf-rtcweb-fec-08: (with COMMENT)
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Thanks for your comments. See below.

On Sun, Feb 17, 2019 at 2:33 PM Benjamin Kaduk <> wrote:

> Benjamin Kaduk has entered the following ballot position for
> draft-ietf-rtcweb-fec-08: No Objection
> When responding, please keep the subject line intact and reply to all
> email addresses included in the To and CC lines. (Feel free to cut this
> introductory paragraph, however.)
> Please refer to
> for more information about IESG DISCUSS and COMMENT positions.
> The document, along with other ballot positions, can be found here:
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Section 3
> nit: The subsequent discussion seems to indicate that at least some of
> these mechanisms are already specified and not new in this document; (if
> so) it would be nice to have the exposition reflect that.
> Section 3.3
>    For Opus, packets deemed as important are re-encoded at a lower
>    bitrate and added to the subsequent packet, allowing partial recovery
> Is "added" supposed to be something other than "appended" (which strongly
> resembles the "redundant encoding" of the previous section)?

It's similar to the redundant encoding, but done within the Opus bitstream,
rather than at the RTP level.

> Section 4.1
> Does it make sense to give subsection backreferences when talking about
> (e.g.) redundant encoding?

Yes, this could be done easily.

> Section 5.2
>    Support for a SSRC-multiplexed flexfec stream to protect a given RTP
>    stream SHOULD be indicated by including one of the formats described
>    in [I-D.ietf-payload-flexible-fec-scheme], Section 5.1, as an
> nit: Since this Section 5 is solely for video, is it more appropriate to
> refer to Section 5.1.2 ("Registration of video/flexfec") of
> draft-ietf-payload-flexible-fec-scheme?

Agreed - earlier versions of flexfec were slightly different.

> Section 7
>    To support the functionality recommended above, implementations MUST
>    be able to receive and make use of the relevant FEC formats for their
>    supported audio codecs, and MUST indicate this support, as described
>    in Section 4.  Use of these formats when sending, as mentioned above,
> Just to double-check: this is explicitly only mandating FEC for audio and
> ignoring video entirely?

This para only applies to audio. The following para discusses video, but is
SHOULD-strength given the relative newness of flexfec.

> Section 8
>    Because use of FEC always causes redundant data to be transmitted,
>    and the total amount of data must remain within any bandwidth limits
>    indicated by congestion control and the receiver, this will lead to
>    less bandwidth available for the primary encoding, even when the
>    redundant data is not being used.  This is in contrast to methods
>    like RTX [RFC4588] or flexfec [I-D.ietf-payload-flexible-fec-scheme]
>    retransmissions, which only transmit redundant data when necessary,
>    at the cost of an extra roundtrip.
> This seems to imply that "FEC" is a specific usage and that flexfec is not
> a subset of generic FEC.  If so, this could probably be reworded to be
> less confusing to the reader (though my suspicion is that the "always
> causes redundant data to be transmitted" is only intended to apply to
> specific mechanisms from Section 3).

flexfec is not quite a subset of generic FEC, since it also has a
retransmission format. Thoughts on how this could be reworded?

> Section 9
> This document seems to be agnostic on the question of RTP vs. SRTP; I would
> consider referencing their respective security considerations as well as
> what is already covered here.
>    As described in [RFC3711], Section 10, the default processing when
>    using FEC with SRTP is to perform FEC followed by SRTP at the sender,
>    and SRTP followed by FEC at the receiver.  This ordering is used for
>    all the SRTP Protection Profiles used in DTLS-SRTP [RFC5763], as
>    described in [RFC5764], Section 4.1.2.
> I was going to comment about the lack of clarity here, but I see that Ekr
> has already gotten the core points, and that the secdir review has already
> resulted in some chanegs in the editor's copy.  It would be nice to have
> the result of the (merged) edits available to look at, though.
>  Here's the latest text. Let me know if this needs to be further clarified.

      In the WebRTC context, FEC is specifically concerned with recovering
      data from lost packets; any corrupted packets will be discarded by the
      SRTP <xref target="RFC3711" /> decryption process. Therefore, as
      in <xref target="RFC3711" />, Section 10, the default processing when
      using FEC with SRTP is to perform FEC followed by SRTP at the sender,
      SRTP followed by FEC at the receiver. This ordering is used for all
      SRTP Protection Profiles used in DTLS-SRTP
      <xref target="RFC5763" />, which are enumerated in
      <xref target="RFC5764" />, Section 4.1.2.

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