VillageShare: A localized network architecture

Summary: While broadband Internet connectivity has reached a significant part of the world’s population, those living in rural areas of the developing world suffer from poor Internet connectivity over slow long distance links, if they even have connectivity at all. While this has a general negative impact on Internet utilization, our social survey of users in the community of Macha, Zambia shows that the severest impact is in the area of content generation and sharing. To this end, our work describes VillageShare, an integrated time-delayed proxy server and content-sharing Facebook application. Through these two components, VillageShare facilitates localization of traffic, protecting the bandwidth-limited Internet link from content shared between local users, and minimizes upload aborts by time-shifting large uploads to periods when the gateway link is under-utilized. In this work we analyze traffic traces from Macha to discern opportunities for improvement of connection utilization, and then describe and evaluate the VillageShare architecture.



David L. Johnson
Veljko Pejovic
Maggie Weng


Prof. Elizabeth Belding

VillageShare Architecture

VillageShare, consists of a time-delayed proxy server (shown on the left figure) and a content-sharing Facebook application. The proxy intelligently schedules uploads for times when the Internet gateway is underutilized. The Facebook application allows local storage of locally generated, locally consumed content.


The architecture can be implemented using services installed on one application server and two file servers: the application server is placed in a city with well-provisioned Internet, while the file servers are placed in both the city and in the community connected through the bandwidth constrained gateway. The Facebook application installed on the city server tracks the home location of registered users and orchestrates the storage and synchronization of files on the file servers sent between Facebook users in the village and outside the village.

VillageShare time-delay proxy server


D. L. Johnson, V. Pejovic, E. M. Belding, and G. van Stam,
VillageShare: Facilitating Content Generation and Sharing in Rural Networks.
ACM DEV, Atlanta, GA, March 2012.


On this project we collaborate closely with LinkNet in Macha, Zambia.