1st International ICST Conference on Access Networks

Research Article

Public infrastructures for internet access in metropolitan areas

  • @INPROCEEDINGS{10.1145/1189355.1189374,
        author={Elias C.  Efstathiou and Fotios A. Elianos and Dimitrios C.   Paraskevaidis and Eleftherios C.  Stefanis and Pantelis A.  Frangoudis and Vasileios P.  Kemerlis and George C.  Polyzos},
        title={Public infrastructures for internet access in metropolitan areas},
        proceedings={1st International ICST Conference on Access Networks},
        keywords={Community Networks Peer-to-Peer Incentives Security WiFi Networks Secure VoIP},
  • Elias C. Efstathiou
    Fotios A. Elianos
    Dimitrios C. Paraskevaidis
    Eleftherios C. Stefanis
    Pantelis A. Frangoudis
    Vasileios P. Kemerlis
    George C. Polyzos
    Year: 2006
    Public infrastructures for internet access in metropolitan areas
    DOI: 10.1145/1189355.1189374
Elias C. Efstathiou1,*, Fotios A. Elianos1,*, Dimitrios C. Paraskevaidis1,*, Eleftherios C. Stefanis1,*, Pantelis A. Frangoudis1,*, Vasileios P. Kemerlis1,*, George C. Polyzos1,*
  • 1: Mobile Multimedia Laboratory, Department of Computer Science, Athens University of Economics and Business, Athens 113 62, Greece
*Contact email: efstath@aueb.gr, elianos@cs.aueb.gr, dcp@aueb.gr, leste@aueb.gr, pfrag@aueb.gr, vpk@cs.aueb.gr, polyzos@aueb.gr


Wireless Community Networks (WCNs) are metropolitan-area networks with nodes owned and managed by volunteers. These networks can be used to build large scale public infrastructures for providing ubiquitous wireless broadband access through the private contributions of individual community members who use their hotspots to forward foreign traffic from and to nearby low-mobility users. We have designed and developed a prototype aggregation scheme that (1) assumes that community members are selfish and do not trust each other and uses a secure incentive technique to encourage their contribution; (2) protects the real-world identities of community providers and clients by relying only on disposable opaque identifiers (public/private key pairs); (3) is fully distributed, open to all, and does not rely on any authority to resolve disputes or to control membership; (4) applies a Quality-of-Service mechanism to protect the resources of hotspot owners and punish or reward users with different QoS levels according to their contribution; (5) is automated, using standard, widely available hardware and software that we have developed for some of the main available platforms (Linux-based WLAN access points and Windows Mobile-based cell phones). Thus, it can easily complement cellular networks in metropolitan areas where some WCNs provide wide coverage.