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Internet Access for All: Assessing a Crowdsourced Web Proxy Service in a Community Network

TitleInternet Access for All: Assessing a Crowdsourced Web Proxy Service in a Community Network
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsDimogerontakis, E, Meseguer, R, Navarro, L
Conference NamePassive and Active Measurement Conference (PAM)
Date Published03/2017
Conference LocationSydney, Australia
AbstractGlobal access to the Internet for all requires a dramatic reduction in Internet access costs particularly in developing areas. This access is often achieved through several proxy gateways shared across local or regional access networks. These proxies allow individuals or organisations to share the capacity of their Internet connection with other users. We present a measurement study of a crowdsourced Internet proxy service in the community network that provides free Web access to a large community with many small proxy servers spread over the network. The dataset consists of Squid proxy logs for one month, combined with network topology and traffic data. Our study focuses on a representative subset of the whole network with about 900 nodes and roughly 470 users of the web proxy service. We analyse the service from three viewpoints: Web content traffic from users, performance of proxies and influence of the access network. We find clear daily patters of usage, excess capacity and little reuse of content which makes caching almost unnecessary. We also find variations and small inefficiencies in the distribution of traffic load across proxies and the access network, related to the locality and manual proxy choice. Finally, users experience an overall usable Internet access with good throughput for a free crowdsourced service.