Beyond the Trees: Resilient Multipath for Last-mile WISP Networks

02/27/2020
by   Bilal Saleem, et al.
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Expanding the reach of the Internet is a topic of widespread interest today. Google and Facebook, among others, have begun investing substantial research efforts toward expanding Internet access at the edge. Compared to data center networks, which are relatively over-engineered, last-mile networks are highly constrained and end up being ultimately responsible for the performance issues that impact the user experience. The most viable and cost-effective approach for providing last-mile connectivity has proved to be Wireless ISPs (WISPs), which rely on point-to-point wireless backhaul infrastructure to provide connectivity using cheap commodity wireless hardware. However, individual WISP network links are known to have poor reliability and the networks as a whole are highly cost constrained. Motivated by these observations, we propose Wireless ISPs with Redundancy (WISPR), which leverages the cost-performance tradeoff inherent in commodity wireless hardware to move toward a greater number of inexpensive links in WISP networks thereby lowering costs. To take advantage of this new path diversity, we introduce a new, general protocol that provides increased performance, reliability, or a combination of the two.

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