Alternative Network Deployments. Taxonomy, characterization, technologies and architectures

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Global Access to the Internet for All                    J. Saldana, Ed.
Internet-Draft                                    University of Zaragoza
Intended status: Informational                            A. Arcia-Moret
Expires: September 7, 2015                       University of Cambridge
                                                                B. Braem
                                                         E. Pietrosemoli
                                                         A. Sathiaseelan
                                                 University of Cambridge
                                                              M. Zennaro
                                                        Abdus Salam ICTP
                                                           March 6, 2015

     Alternative Network Deployments.  Taxonomy, characterization,
                     technologies and architectures


   This document presents a taxonomy of "Alternative Network
   deployments", and a set of definitions and shared characteristics.
   It also discusses the technologies employed in these network
   deployments, and their differing architectural characteristics.

   The term "Alternative Network deployments" includes a set of network
   access models that have emerged in the last decade with the aim of
   bringing Internet connectivity to people, using topological,
   architectural and business models different from the so-called
   "traditional" ones, where a company deploys or leases the network
   infrastructure for connecting the users, who pay a subscription fee
   to be connected and make use of it.

   Several initiatives throughout the world have built large scale
   networks that are alternative to the traditional network operator
   deployments using predominantly wireless technologies (including long
   distance) due to the reduced cost of using the unlicensed spectrum.
   Wired technologies such as fiber are also used in some of these
   alternate networks.  There are several types of such alternate
   network: networks such as community networks are self-organized and
   decentralized networks wholly owned by the community; networks owned
   by individuals who act as wireless internet service providers
   (WISPs), networks owned by individuals but leased out to network
   operators who use such networks as a low-cost medium to reach the
   underserved population and finally there are networks that provide
   connectivity by sharing wireless resources of the users.

Saldana, et al.         Expires September 7, 2015               [Page 1]
Internet-Draft       Alternative Network Deployments          March 2015

   The emergence of these networks can be motivated by different causes
   such as the reluctance, or the impossibility, of network operators to
   provide wired and cellular infrastructures to rural/remote areas.  In
   these cases, the networks have self sustainable business models that
   provide more localised communication services as well as Internet
   backhaul support through peering agreements with traditional network
   operators.  Some other times, networks are built as a complement and
   an alternative to commercial Internet access provided by
   "traditional" network operators.

   The present classification considers different existing network
   models such as Community Networks, open wireless services, user-
   extensible services, traditional local Internet Service Providers
   (ISPs), new global ISPs, etc.  Different criteria are used in order
   to build a classification as e.g., the ownership of the equipment,
   the way the network is organized, the participatory model, the
   extensibility, if they are driven by a community, a company or a
   local (public or private) stakeholder, etc.

   According to the developed taxonomy, a characterization of each kind
   of network is presented, in terms of specific network characteristics
   related to architecture, organization, etc.

Status of This Memo

   This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the
   provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
   Task Force (IETF).  Note that other groups may also distribute
   working documents as Internet-Drafts.  The list of current Internet-
   Drafts is at

   Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months
   and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any
   time.  It is inappropriate to use Internet-Drafts as reference
   material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."
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