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Virtual Public Networks

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Abstract

Universal access to Internet is crucial. Several initiatives have recently emerged to enable wider access to the Internet. Public Access WiFi Service (PAWS) enables free Internet access to all and is based on Lowest Cost Denominator Networking (LCDNet) -- a set of network techniques that enable users to share their home broadband network with the public. LCDNet takes advantage of the available unused capacity in home broadband networks and allows Less-than-Best Effort (LBE) access to these resources. LCDNet can enable third-party stakeholders, such as local governments, to setup, configure and operate home networks for public Internet access in cooperation with Internet Service Providers. Software-defined networking (SDN) creates new opportunities for the remote configuration and management of such networks at large scale. In this paper, we present Virtual Public Networks (VPuN), home networks created, deployed and managed through an evolutionary SDN control abstraction. This offers more flexibility to users and network operators, allowing them to share and control the network, while providing opportunities for new stakeholders to emerge as virtual network operators.