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Community networking

This area is focused on experimentally-driven research on Community-owned Open Local IP Networks. A cooperative development of Internet: scalable, self-organized and decentralized IP networks and services built and operated by citizens for citizens. In other words, departing from the established model of Internet as a service provide by telcos, this is a bottom-up model of Internet as an emerging and self-organized network out of commodity devices deployed by citizens. The research projects are:

  • Confine (2011-2015, a FP7 Integrated Project coordinated by this group): Community networks are an emerging and successful model for the Future Internet across Europe and far beyond.The CONFINE project complements existing FIRE infrastructures by establishing a new facility built on the federation of existing community IP networks constituted by more than 20,000 nodes and 20,000 Km of links. These community networks incorporate a large and wide variety of commodity wireless and optical links, heterogeneous nodes, different routing protocols, applications and a large number of end-users, following an innovative model of self-provisioning using unlicensed and public spectrum.
    The project develops Community-Lab, a unified access to an open testbed with tools that allow researchers to deploy, run, monitor and experiment with services, protocols and applications on real-world community IP networks.
  • Clommunity (2013-2014, a FP7 STREP Project coordinated by this group): The project aims at addressing the obstacles for communities of citizens in bootstrapping, running and expanding community-owned networks that provide community services organised as community clouds. That requires solving specific research challenges imposed by the requirement of: self-managing and scalable (decentralized) infrastructure services for the management and aggregation of a large number of widespread low-cost unreliable networking, storage and home computing resources; distributed platform services to support and facilitate the design and operation of elastic, resilient and scalable service overlays and user-oriented services built over these underlying services, providing a good quality of experience at the lowest economic and environmental cost. This will be achieved through experimentally-driven research, using the Community-Lab testbed, the participation of large user communities and software developers from several community networks, by extending existing cloud service prototypes in a cyclic participatory process of design, development, experimentation, evaluation and optimization for each challenge.