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cISP: A Speed-of-Light Internet Service Provider


Chandrasekaran,  Balakrishnan
Internet Architecture, MPI for Informatics, Max Planck Society;

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Bhattacherjee, D., Jyothi, S. A., Bozkurt, I. N., Tirmazi, M., Aqeel, W., Aguirre, A., et al. (2018). cISP: A Speed-of-Light Internet Service Provider. Retrieved from http://arxiv.org/abs/1809.10897.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0002-BF14-1
Low latency is a requirement for a variety of interactive network applications. The Internet, however, is not optimized for latency. We thus explore the design of cost-effective wide-area networks that move data over paths very close to great-circle paths, at speeds very close to the speed of light in vacuum. Our cISP design augments the Internet's fiber with free-space wireless connectivity. cISP addresses the fundamental challenge of simultaneously providing low latency and scalable bandwidth, while accounting for numerous practical factors ranging from transmission tower availability to packet queuing. We show that instantiations of cISP across the contiguous United States and Europe would achieve mean latencies within 5% of that achievable using great-circle paths at the speed of light, over medium and long distances. Further, we estimate that the economic value from such networks would substantially exceed their expense.