Controlled Wi-Fi Sharing in Cities: A Decentralized Approach Relying on Indirect Reciprocity

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Executive Summary

In densely populated cities, Wi-Fi networks - private or otherwise - are ubiquitous. The authors focus on the provision of citywide broadband communication capability to mobile users through private Wi-Fi networks that are in range, but belong to others. They form a club that relies on indirect reciprocity: members participate in the club and provide free Wi-Fi access to other members in order to enjoy the same benefit when they are away from their own Wi-Fi network. Their club scheme does not require registration with an authority and does not rely on centrally issued club identities: Members create their own identities (public-private key pairs) and receive signed digital receipts when they provide Wi-Fi service to other members.

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