ComReg champions alternative services

16 Sep 2003

New technologies such as peer-to-peer networking, ad hoc and mesh networking, wireless metropolitan area networks (WMANs) and wireless link technology have been identified by the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) as technologies that network operators should consider to provide home and business users with faster communications services.

ComReg yesterday issued four briefing notes on developments in information and communications technologies as part of what it described as its forward-looking programme.

ComReg chairperson Etain Doyle commented: “One of the key drivers for these alternative solutions is the increasing call for widespread broadband access.

“The addition of alternative networking technologies alongside existing networks can only help to increase the choice of communications services available to end users in Ireland,” Doyle said.

Peer-to-peer networking allows end users to access directly and share resources such as content over file sharing and grid computing on other end users’ computer over telecoms networks.

Ad hoc networking technology can enable devices to form networks by communicating directly with one another, without the need for existing telecommunications infrastructure such as masts, base stations and cables.

In the same way, mesh-networking technology utilises individual users’ devices to help form the network infrastructure, using them to pass traffic on from other users.

WMANs are wireless access networks typically used to supply broadband services to end users within an urban area.

New developments are also emerging in the area of wireless link technology, operating at higher frequencies than traditional microwave links. These could help provide easily installed, low-cost high-speed connections between points on a network, typically up to a few kilometres apart.

“In outlining some of these technologies we hope to inform and stimulate end users and network operators to consider some of the many new possibilities that are emerging,” Doyle added.

By John Kennedy