University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Computer Laboratory Systems Research Group Seminar > cISP: A Speed-of-Light Internet Service Provider

cISP: A Speed-of-Light Internet Service Provider

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Low latency is a requirement for a variety of interactive network applications. The Internet, however, is not optimized for latency. We thus explore the design of wide-area networks that move data at nearly the speed of light in vacuum. Our cISP design augments the Internet’s fiber with free-space microwave wireless connectivity over paths very close to great-circle paths. cISP addresses the fundamental challenge of simultaneously providing ultra-low latency while accounting for numerous practical factors ranging from transmission tower availability to packet queuing, achieving mean latencies within 5% of that achievable using great-circle paths at the speed of light. Further, using experiments conducted on a nearly-speed-of-light algorithmic trading network, together with an analysis of trading data at its end points, we show that microwave networks are reliably faster than fiber networks even in inclement weather. We provide estimates showing the economic value of such networks would substantially exceed their expense. Finally, we will discuss how this work can influence future directions using a combination of multiple communication channels—low latency and high bandwidth—such as with 5g wireless.

Bio: Brighten Godfrey is a professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a technical director at VMware. He co-founded and served as CTO of network verification pioneer Veriflow through its 2019 acquisition by VMware. He received his Ph.D. at UC Berkeley in 2009. His research interests lie in the design of networked systems and algorithms. He is a winner of the ACM SIGCOMM Rising Star Award, the Sloan Research Fellowship, and the National Science Foundation CAREER Award, and has chaired several conferences including ACM HotNets 2014, the Symposium on SDN Research 2016, and ACM SIGCOMM 2022 .

This talk is part of the Computer Laboratory Systems Research Group Seminar series.

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