RIFE addresses the major societal challenge of providing affordable Internet access to those who cannot afford it by solving the technological challenge to increase the efficiency of the underlying transport networks and the involved architectures and protocols. The RIFE solution will harness unused transmission capacity, combined with placing content caches and service functionality closer to the user and will use heterogeneous transmission opportunities that range from localized mesh and home networks over well-connected ISP backhauls to scarce satellite resources. RIFE will build upon recent advances on information-centric and delay-tolerant networking by developing optimized dissemination strategies for the involved transport networks, unified within a novel communication architecture that will provide clear abstractions to application developers. We will develop, deploy and showcase our solution in a real-life setting within a large-scale community network in Spain, demonstrating the technology and economic opportunities that the RIFE platform provides. We will complement our real-life testbeds with emulation scenarios to enable the evaluation of our novel resource management schemes at scale, while integrating with our prototype platform. On the economic side, we will develop business opportunities for local authorities as well as backhaul network providers to create a sustainable value chain by introducing virtual network operators that utilize the under-used capacity in a new business relationship with local customers, enabling novel and often socially-driven business models. The involvement of a technology, equipment, as well as satellite and community network provider will allow for maximizing the commercial exploitation of RIFE within real deployments and towards standard communities within the IETF/IRTF and beyond, placing RIFE in the centre of a growing community of practitioners that all share the same goal: making the Internet affordable to everybody!
The RIFE project will provide innovations for an Internet for everybody, building on prior academic work and producing the following major outcomes:
- the definition of a unifying architecture with clear interfaces provided to application developers and component manufacturers,
- the development of novel dissemination strategies that jointly optimise bandwidth, storage and computation resources available, integrating diverse network environments into the single RIFE architecture, and
- a set of service and applications functions that will enable full utilisation of the RIFE architecture in real-life settings
RIFE will provide points (1) through (3) within
- a RIFE prototype platform that will be implemented and tested against key performance indicators in both test bed and emulation settings as well as
- in an operational trial within a community network that is linked via real-life satellite connectivity.
Finally, we will
- evaluate the commercial viability of the RIFE platform to provide the basis for a sustainable value chain, and
- establish RIFE as a key driver in the wider community of practitioners and researchers in this space.
These outcomes are more specifically realized by the following objectives:
- Develop the unifying RIFE architecture with a clear set of abstractions being exposed to applications
- Develop a set of RIFE networking technologies that provide connectivity economically cheaper than today’s solutions
- Develop the RIFE prototype platform
- Deploy and evaluate the RIFE prototype in a real-world field trial
- Develop compelling RIFE applications and services
- Develop new business models for virtual network operators
- Establish RIFE as a key player in the wider community for an Internet for Everybody
Over its three years of duration, the project will progress its key technical contributions from Technology Readiness Level 2 (“technology concept formulated”) to Technology Readiness Level 6 (“technology demonstrated in relevant environment; industrially relevant environment in the case of key enabling technologies”) or even 7 (“system prototype demonstration in operational environment”).
At a glance
Project title: architectuRe for an Internet For Everybody (RIFE)
Project coordinator: Martin Potts, Martel Consulting
Partners: Martel Consulting (CH), Aalto-Korkeakoulusaatio (FI), University of Cambridge (UK), Interdigital Europe (UK), Avanti (CY), Guifi.net (ES), Thales Alenia Space (FR), Technische Universität München (DE).
Duration: 1st February 2015 – 31st January 2018
EC contribution: € 2’930’626.25