NSDR 2008

An ACM SIGCOMM 2008 workshop

Session 4: Paper 1

acrobat_pdf_icon.gif Serengeti Broadband

Authors: Amos Nungu (Royal Institute of Technology); Bjorn Pehrson (Royal Institute of Technology); Nsubis Genesis (Royal Institute of Technology)

Abstract: This paper presents a broadband island defined by a fibre-optic communication network between Bunda and Serengeti, two rural districts in the Mara region in northern Tanzania. The purpose of the network is to facilitate creation and sharing of information at government institutions. The network is also expected to create jobs and entrepreneurial activities in these under-served areas The network is comprised of an optical fibre backbone and wireless local area networks operating in license-free spectrum as access networks. The fibre is currently terminated at three locations. VLAN-capable Ethernet switches with long range optical transceivers provide backbone transmission as well as fibre access. To minimize costs, routers and servers in the network are all based on standard PC hardware and Free Open Source software. The infrastructure is operated under an Open Access regime, other ways of resource sharing like virtualization at the link; network and application layers are explored. Although the broadband island defined by the fibre has a narrowband VSAT connection to the Internet, the focus on the services provided in the network is local, focusing on egovernment, education, healthcare and support to local entrepreneurs.

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