Alternative Network Deployments

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* Draft working document: Alternative Network Deployments: Taxonomy, characterization, technologies and architectures. J. Saldana, Ed., A. Arcia-Moret, et al. IETF, 2016

URL = https://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-irtf-gaia-alternative-network-deployments-06

Internet-Draft of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)


Abstract

"This document presents a taxonomy of a set of "Alternative Network Deployments" emerged in the last decade with the aim of bringing Internet connectivity to people or of providing a local communication infrastructure to serve various complementary needs and objectives. They employ architectures and topologies different from those of mainstream networks, and rely on alternative governance and business models.


The document also surveys the technologies deployed in these networks, and their differing architectural characteristics, including a set of definitions and shared properties.


The classification considers models such as Community Networks, Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs), networks owned by individuals but leased out to network operators who use them as a low-cost medium to reach the underserved population, and networks that provide connectivity by sharing wireless resources of the users."


Definitions Used

1.

"The term "Alternative Network" proposed in this document refers to the networks that do not share the characteristics of "mainstream network deployments". Therefore, they may share some of the next characteristics:


o Relatively small scale (i.e. not spanning entire regions).


o Administration may not follow a centralized approach.


o They may require a reduced investment in infrastructure, which may be shared by the users, commercial and non-commercial entities.


o Users in alternative networks may participate in the network design, deployment, operation and maintenance.


2. "Free Networks" [FNF]. A definition of Free Network is proposed by the Free Network Foundation (see https://thefnf.org) as the one that "equitably grants the following freedoms to all:


  • Freedom 0 - The freedom to communicate for any purpose, without
        discrimination, interference, or interception.


  • Freedom 1 - The freedom to grow, improve, communicate across,
        and connect to the whole network.


  • Freedom 2- The freedom to study, use, remix, and share any
        network communication mechanisms, in their most reusable
        forms."


3. The principles of Free, Open and Neutral Networks have also been summarized [Baig] this way:


  • You have the freedom to use the network for any purpose as long as you do not harm the operation of the network itself, the rights of other users, or the principles of neutrality that allow contents and services to flow without deliberate interference.


  • You have the right to understand the network, to know its components, and to spread knowledge of its mechanisms and principles.


  • You have the right to offer services and content to the network on your own terms.


  • You have the right to join the network, and the responsibility to extend this set of rights to anyone according to these same terms."


Contents

Typology of alternative networks:

Classification of Alternative Networks . . . . . . . . . . . 12

5.1. Community Networks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

5.2. Wireless Internet Service Providers, WISPs . . . . . . . 15

5.3. Shared infrastructure model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

5.4. Crowdshared approaches, led by the users and third party stakeholders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

5.5. Rural electric cooperatives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

5.6. Testbeds for research purposes . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20