Sharing wi-fi with your neighbours

Soaking up wasted bandwidth is goal of project

Researchers have developed technology designed to enable neighbours to pool their wi-fi internet access to deliver better performance and exploit bandwidth that would otherwise sit idle.

Haiyun Luo, an assistant professor of computer science at the University of Illinois, says the technology he created with a graduate student will encourage people to share their bandwidth without having to worry about security or privacy issues.

The 1MB Practical End-host collaborative Residential Multihoming (PERM) software file is being utilised by users who have subscriptions for broadband connections, says Luo, who leads the Systems, Wireless and Networking Group at the university.

PERM uses flow-scheduling algorithms to choose the best connection available and gives subscribers priority when it comes to their own Internet connections. The software also alerts subscribers if their connection is being misused.

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