The project–named “Celerate”–
Google.Org has provided $2 million to De Novo Group to help develop this technology, which can help bring an open source solution for more affordable wireless networks to communities around the world. The project will initially deploy prototype networks in rural communities in Northern California, which will provide not only a platform for research, but also actual network services to users. Ultimately, these prototypes can serve as a model that can be replicated, especially in developing countries, and that may offer lower costs and require less expert technical support.
De Novo Group is seeking communities for these early deployments. Ideal candidate communities would meet the following criteria:
Located within 250 miles of Berkeley, at least initially, to accommodate visits by Berkeley researchers.
Include at least 20 households in reasonable proximity of each other; isolated ranches and farms are ill-suited for the initial stages. (Businesses and community centers are ideal, but only if part of a relatively dense community).
Located beyond the reach of conventional broadband offerings (e.g., cable Internet or ADSL).
Demonstrated community excitement, buy-in, and support.
Equipment is small and unobtrusive (using pre-existing towers or none at all), and low power, making it ideal to be powered by renewable energy sources such as solar or wind. These networks offer the added benefit of being independent from existing infrastructure and resistant to natural disasters. Communities meeting these criteria can submit their interest at http://celerate.denovogroup.org/
Celerate’s wireless rural deployments will introduce new challenges for SDN. The project will address these unique technical challenges through the cutting-edge research led by UC Berkeley and Stanford University. Berkeley’s TIER group (Technology Infrastructure for Emerging Regions) has studied this field for the past decade. They will collaborate with Prof. Sachin Katti’s group (Stanford) and Prof. Scott Shenker’s group (Berkeley) to introduce novel networking technologies that do not exist today in rural markets. Prof. Katti and Prof. Shenker are a part of the Open Networking Research Center (ONRC) and have led research on OpenRadio and OpenFlow.
Celerate will extend the research component of these new technologies, business models, and deployment strategies, but also serve as a living lab, providing service to rural communities in Northern California that lack broadband Internet access. The De Novo Group will seek rural subscribers to serve for years to come, while continuously expanding coverage to more rural and challenging environments.
About De Novo Group
De Novo Group is a 501(c)3, California public benefit corporation, based in Berkeley, CA. The group takes cutting-edge research and uses it to drive social development impact, especially targeting poor communities in developing countries. Yahel Ben-David, De Novo Group’s president, founded the Celerate project and facilitated the collaboration between the participating universities. Yahel also founded AirJaldi, which brings Internet access to a rapidly growing number of rural communities in India using low-cost wireless technologies. To learn more, visit http://denovogroup.org/