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Linux for Broadband Rural Wireless, The CRCnet Experience


This presentation details the achievements of the CRCnet project in the WAND Network Research Group at Waikato University over the past 4 years. In particular we describe how Linux and Open Source Software have been used to develop a platform to enable community development of broadband wireless networks in rural areas of the world. We describe two key elements of our platform. The first is a micro Linux distribution for use on small scale, resource limited computers. The second is a network configuration and management system that accompanies the distribution. This management system makes the platform accessible to rural communities by lowering the technical expertise needed to construct a network. Both elements of the platform are strongly based on Linux and Open Source Software and present new and innovative uses of existing software. We end the presentation providing details about 4 deployed networks that have used the CRCnet platform. These networks are geographically diverse. Ranging from a remote South African setting to a network in the Urewera Ranges of New Zealand that connects 4 of the most challenging to reach schools in the country. As members of the WAND Network Research Group operating in an academic setting we are experienced in presenting papers and are comfortable entertaining an audience. Both authors are also key members of the Waikato Linux Users Group where they have presented many meetings also. A full abstract is available at: Further details on CRCnet and the WAND Network Research Group available at and

Matt Brown

I am the network administrator for the CRCnet Wireless Research Network. I am involved in all aspects of CRCnet, from planning and implementing new links, through to monitoring and maintaining the network. My particular projects involve developing the CRCnet Configuration System and assisting others in wireless mesh network and rapid deployment research.

Jamie Curtis

Jamie has been working in the WAND network research group at the University of Waikato, NZ for the past 5 years since graduating there with a BCMS. During this time he has been involved in many areas of network research including network measurement and wireless network performance. Jamie has recently been heavily involved with WAND's wireless network, CRCnet, both in it's planning, development and deployment as well as the maintenance of the network.