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A feasibility study of an in-the-wild experimental public access WiFi network

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conference contribution
posted on 23.09.2015, 13:11 authored by Arjuna Sathiaseelan, Richard Mortier, Murray Goulden, Christian Greiffenhagen, Milena Radenkovic, Jon Crowcroft, Derek McAuley
Universal Internet access has become critical to modern life, leading to many explorations of approaches to increase its availability. In this paper we report on a study of one such approach, PAWS, that seeks to understand the technical and social constraints of providing Internet access, free at the point of use, by sharing existing broadband subscribers' connections. We elaborate the technical and social context of our deployment, a deprived neighbourhood in a medium-sized British city, and discuss the constraints on and resulting architecture of this system, including the authentication and security mechanisms necessary for a service of this kind. We then report on the use of our deployment over a period of seven months from July 2013 to February 2014, including analyses of the performance and usage of the network. Our data show that PAWS is socially and technically feasible and has the potential to provide Internet access economically to many who are currently digitally disenfranchised. However, doing so requires overcoming numerous challenges, both technical and social.

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies

Published in

ACM DEV 2014 - Proceedings of the 2014 Annual Symposium on Computing for Development

Pages

33 - 42

Citation

SATHIASEELAN, A. ... et al, 2014. A feasibility study of an in-the-wild experimental public access WiFi network. IN: ACM DEV-5 '14: Proceedings of the 2014 Annual Symposium on Computing for Development, San Jose, CA, USA, December 5th-6th 2014. New York, NY, USA: ACM, pp.33-42.

Publisher

© Association for Computing Machinery, Inc

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Publication date

2014

ISBN

9781450329361

Language

en