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The traditional design of communication networks has rarely been able to focus on the optimization of global network properties. Ultra-wideband (UWB) radio is emerging as an attractive physical layer for wireless communication networks offering new opportunities for the principled design and optimization of network properties. We develop a framework for the principled design of UWB wireless networks based on a flexible cost function that can be tailored and scaled to a wide range of networks and applications, ranging from sensor networks to voice and data wireless networks. The function comprises cost terms associated with transmission, connection setup, interference, and quality-of-service. Multihop routing strategies are associated with admissible paths of minimal cost that are computable in linear time. The cost function together with the overall level of requests determine the dynamics of the connections and the equilibrium topology of the network. We report simulation results in the case of simple ring and square lattice networks.