Wi-Stitch: Content Delivery in Converged Edge Networks
Universal access to Internet is crucial, and as such, there have been several initiatives to enable wider access to the Internet. Public AccessWiFi Service (PAWS) is one such initiative that takes advantage of the available unused capacity in home broadband connections and allows Lessthan-Best Effort (LBE) access to these resources, as exemplified by Lowest Cost Denominator Networking (LCDNet). PAWS has been recently deployed in a deprived community in Nottingham, and, as any crowd-shared network, it faces limited coverage, since there is a single point of Internet access per guest whose availability depends on user sharing policies. To mitigate this problem and extend the coverage, we use a crowd-shared wireless mesh network (WMN), at which the home routers are interconnected as a mesh. Such a WMN provides multiple points of Internet access and can enable resource pooling across all available paths to the Internet backhaul. In order to coordinate traffic redirections through the WMN, we implement and deploy a software-defined WMN (SDWMN) control plane in one of the CONFINE community networks. We further investigate the potential benefits of a crowd-shared WMN for public Internet access by performing a comparative study between a WMN and PAWS. Our experimental results show that a crowd-shared WMN can provide much higher utilization of the shared bandwidth and can accommodate a substantially larger volume of guest traffic. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.