COMP420Y - Topology Management In Rooftop Wireless Networks
The lack of access to broadband Internet services in rural areas of New Zealand has been identified as a significant problem for rural businesses and households. The existing wired telephone network which is being used for broadband delivery in urban areas is around fifty years old in most rural areas and is not capable of sustaining the speeds required for broadband access. This problem has led to the idea of using wireless technologies to provide broadband access to rural areas.
This report investigates existing wireless network technologies and mesh implementations and describes why they are unsuitable for use in a rural environment. Drawing on the experiences of these existing networks a protocol to create a wireless mesh network for use in rural areas is designed. The mesh network created by this protocol is different from existing mesh networks in a number of ways. Each node in the mesh network has multiple wireless interfaces and utilises directional antenna to reduce interference and increase communication range. Additionally the protocol creates a mesh network composed of many layer 2 wireless Ethernet links rather than a single link.
The successful implementation of this protocol within a framework that enables future research to be easily performed is a significant achievement of this project. The results of evaluating this framework and the mesh protocol in two test bed networks are also presented.