You are here

MeshDApp: Blockchain-enabled Crowdsourced Internet Access Platform for Mesh Networks

Universal connectivity is still unavailable or expensive for half of the global population, despite being critical for social participation.
The deployment of crowdsourced networking infrastructures creates an opportunity for local development, where anyone can deploy a new device, and therefore the connectivity offer can expand incrementally and be sustainable through investment and fees obtained from the demand and consumption of content and services, including Internet access, that compensate the cost of the underlying network. While data flow is coordinated by routing, the economic flows can be coordinated by blockchain transactions. Together, networking infrastructures can become feasible and sustainable, and generate social and economic benefits to any participant in the network.
We have defined in our research a new form of crowdsourced networks, the concept and architecture, and we present MeshDapp, our prototype implementation using a local Ethereum PoA blockchain and a set of Solidity smart contracts on a wireless mesh network with access points and an Internet gateway. The prototype software has been validated in a controlled mesh network environment.

Related publications in the group about this topic: About the guifi.net community network [1], [2], sustainability and incentives [3], community clouds: [4], governance of community clouds and blockchain: [5], local blockchains in mesh networks: [6], MeshDapp design: [7], a MeshDapp-based incentive mechanism: [8].

Related posters: MeshDapp - Blockchain-enabled Sustainable Business Models for Networks (GECON 2019 linked to [7]), Blockchain-Enabled Participatory Incentives for Crowdsourced Mesh Networks (GECON 2019 linked to [8]).

Code: MeshDapp - Ethereum smart contracts in Solidity used in our experimental prototype system.

More details coming soon ... for instance the repository with the software system that includes a web portal running on access points to allow consumers to connect (select and activate Wi-Fi contract), monitoring scripts that collect network traffic, an oracle that delivers traffic counts per router to a smart contract that distributes the sum of payments from consumers across providers proportionally to the contribution of their routers to service provision.


References

  1. R. Baig, Roca, R., Freitag, F., and Navarro, L., guifi.net, a crowdsourced network infrastructure held in common, Computer Networks, vol. 90, pp. 150–165, 2015.
  2. R. Baig, Dalmau, L., Roca, R., Navarro, L., Freitag, F., and Sathiaseelan, A., Making Community Networks economically sustainable, the guifi.net experience, in Proceedings of the 2016 workshop on Global Access to the Internet for All, Florianopolis, Brazil, August 22-26, 2016, 2016, pp. 31–36.
  3. P. Micholia, Karaliopoulos, M., Koutsopoulos, I., Navarro, L., Baig, R., Boucas, D., Michalis, M., and Antoniadis, P., Community Networks and Sustainability: a Survey of Perceptions, Practices, and Proposed Solutions, CoRR, vol. abs/1707.06898, 2017.
  4. R. Baig, Freitag, F., and Navarro, L., Cloudy in guifi.net: Establishing and sustaining a community cloud as open commons, Future Generation Computer Systems, 2018.
  5. F. Freitag, On the Collaborative Governance of Decentralized Edge Microclouds with Blockchain-Based Distributed Ledgers, in 1st International Workshop on Blockchain Technology for Multi-Agent Systems (BCT4MAS), in 2018 IEEE/WIC/ACM International Conference on Web Intelligence (WI), 2018.
  6. A. Rao Kabbinale, Dimogerontakis, E., Selimi, M., Ali, A., Navarro, L., Sathiaseelan, A., and Crowcroft, J., Blockchain for economically sustainable wireless mesh networks, Concurrency and Computation: Practice and Experience, 2019.
  7. E. Dimogerontakis, Navarro, L., Selimi, M., Mosquera, S., and Freitag, F., MeshDapp - Blockchain-enabled Sustainable Business Models for Networks, in 16th International Conference on Economics of Grids, Clouds, Systems & Services, Leeds, 2019.
  8. E. San Miguel, Timmerman, R., Mosquera, S., Dimogerontakis, E., Freitag, F., and Navarro, L., Blockchain-Enabled Participatory Incentives for Crowdsourced Mesh Networks, in 16th International Conference on Economics of Grids, Clouds, Systems & Services, Leeds, 2019.