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NSF-CRI'07 Breakout Session

June 4, 2007

Urban Mesh Networks: Does Your City Mayor Want One?


Over 200 cities already have them. Over 1,000 cities are expected to have them in the next 3-4 years. This breakout session will discuss the role of urban mesh networks from creating “communities” to providing city services to closing the digital divide. Early deployments, like in the city of Houston, faced practical challenges related to their design and the performance of existing protocols. Is this an opportunity for a better “clean-slate” design of urban networks? An urban network infrastructure seems like a fertile ground, not only for education, but also for research and innovations. But then, users grow to rely on the infrastructure and may not tolerate disruptions from implementing research ideas.

This breakout session will discuss the tussle between providing stable public services and enabling innovations, the value of an open platform for research in urban networking and the tussle with commercial players, and the role that funding agencies—such as NSF—may play in supporting development and research of urban networks.

Session Leader and Moderator: Ibrahim Matta, CS Department, Boston University

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Updated On: April 27, 2007