FRAC: Design and Implementation of an Advertisement-based Community Network Sharing Framework

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Virginia Tech

There has been an overwhelming interest in public Wi-Fi due to the increasing number of mobile users and a growing perception that Wi-Fi provides better connection experience at lower costs. Moreover, end users increasingly expect Wi-Fi to be free, thereby motivating a strong transition in leading markets to provide free-to-the-end-user Wi-Fi. Providing free internet to the users is a challenge as potential solutions must be self-sustainable and provide sufficient financial returns. Framework for Advertisement-based Community Wi-Fi access, called FRAC is a self-sustainable advertisement-based community network sharing framework which has the competence to provide significant financial returns. FRAC provides free internet access to its users by motivating Wi-Fi access point (AP) owners to share their internet service for benefits. FRAC builds on privately or commercially-owned, existing Wi-Fi infrastructure. The users accessing the internet using this framework provide a strong customer base for online marketing and advertising which provides the revenue to sustain this framework.

This thesis describes the design and implementation of a prototype of the FRAC system. The design of key features of the framework such as user authentication, advertisement delivery, quality of service, messaging and security, are described, based on which an overall design of the framework is provided. The prototype developed includes a browser extension to support browser-based devices like laptops, netbooks and embeddable software that can be installed on wireless routers with Linux-based dd-wrt firmware.

ad-supported Wi-Fi, public Wi-Fi, hotspots, dd-wrt