Regional Broadcast Using an Atmospheric Link Layer
1 Apr 2011 00:00:00 GMT

I've been working on a document for a while, and I'm happy to announce it's made it's way through the committees and has been accepted by the IETF. It's the result of about 2 years of (non-contiguous) idle thought, bouncing ideas off people, and editing. But what is it about?! Well, as the internet has grown the concept of a LAN changed from the original concept of a Local Area Network where "Local" meant geographic. Now, "Local" is a logical grouping - a company has a LAN, but its members are spread through the globe, linked by VPNs. I wanted to get back to geographic based packet transmission. It's all the rage after all - every social media app wants to show you what's happening nearby, where your friends are, and so on.

So this is my contribution. Using the methods defined in the RFC, you can transmit text or binary data to a local geographic area. It doesn't add congestion on existing copper or fiber, it's carrier independent, it doesn't require or deplete mobile data plans. You can use it just as easily in New York City as in Kigali. And since we care about regional transmission, we can adapt some settings to local standards, like the UTF Code Page most common. Anyway, here it is: RFC 6217: Regional Broadcast Using an Atmospheric Link Layer.

There are a few rough patches in there regarding technicalities or practicality (trust me, I agonized over them), but I think they accurately indicate the point behind the illustration.

Update: I made Slashdot

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