Design and Evalutation of a Neighborbood-local Network Infrastructure for a Cooperative Internet Service Provider

  • Typ der Arbeit: Forschungsprojekt
  • Status der Arbeit: laufend
  • Betreuer: Christian Dietrich
  • Bearbeiter: Mahdi Safahieh

Background and Setting

Background of this project is a sustainable housing cooperative that wants to build 50 houses with 500 housing units for its 1000 members. All houses are close to each other and form a separate city quarter. The overall goal of the project is to build a sustainable, energy-efficient, and long-living infrastructure.

The scope of this project is an infrastructure for the inhabitant's internet access in the form of a cooperative internet service provider that buys a large amount of bandwidth from an external provider (Fiber) and distributes it throughout the quarter to each house (Fiber), where the members of the cooperative gain access: they can use thir room/flat-local internet connectors (ethernet sockets) or WLAN, which covers the whole area and allows free roaming.

For a business model, each member "buys" his minimal available bandwidth, which the cooperative pools and buys as upstream connectivity. Members are guaranteed to have at their minimal bandwidth share, but are allowed to use the excess bandwidth in an best effort manner.

Tasks for this Project

The student should design a network infrastructre that is cheap, energy-efficient, and able to fullfil the described requirements:

  • Ethernet sockets should be assignable to members

    • Members can connect to the WiFi (e.g., Radius Authentification)
    • Members have a minimal bandwidth (e.g., by traffic shaping)
    • Members have their private and isolated network (e.g., by VLANs)
  • For this, the student should propose and qualitatively compare (energy consumption, hardware cost, complexity) several network infrastructures, which differ, for example, in the following dimensions:

    • quarter-central vs. house-local traffic shaping
    • hardware-based QoS on a core switch vs. Software-based QoS
    • flat-local internet access point: yes/no
    • Over-committment of the upstream cable: yes/no/to what degree?
  • From the previous comparision, the student should come up with an experimental setup, where usual administative tasks are automatically possible (e.g., port assignment). Within, the student should quantify the performance of the infrastructure (e.g., traffic-forwarding)


  • A design document that describes the goals, the proposed network infrastructures, and the qualitative and quantitative evaluation.
  • Basic automatable tools for the management of the experimental setup.
  • Giving a presentation that describes the choosen solution.