Helping the lone operator in the vast frontier

Thomas Pötsch, Paul Schmitt, Jay Chen, Barath Raghavan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


While the networking literature is replete with work on managing and operating networks-from the specifics of protocols to the design of management tools and architectures-there is comparatively little work on planning a network to be rolled out. In part this is because the task of network planning typically falls to carriers (for backbones) and cloud providers (for datacenters), which have the resources and the control to meet their specific needs. Here we consider network planning in situations that are quite different: resource poor and highly constrained. Frontier networks are often planned by lone operators, and while these networks are small in size, they are large in number: they individually serve relatively few users but in aggregate serve millions of users. The key challenge here is the mismatch between the resources of these small operators and the complexity of their network planning. In this paper we detail the difficulties in this context, building on our team's first-hand knowledge of many networks of this type. We then present our initial efforts at frontier network planning, discuss next steps, and outline several open problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHotNets 2016 - Proceedings of the 15th ACM Workshop on Hot Topics in Networks
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781450346610
StatePublished - Nov 9 2016
Event15th ACM Workshop on Hot Topics in Networks, HotNets 2016 - Atlanta, United States
Duration: Nov 9 2016Nov 10 2016

Publication series

NameHotNets 2016 - Proceedings of the 15th ACM Workshop on Hot Topics in Networks


Other15th ACM Workshop on Hot Topics in Networks, HotNets 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications


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