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The lack of access to fast Internet services is a serious digital divide for future networks. Most areas outside fast Internet service coverage are rural areas. Many kinds of wireless systems have been proposed for rural areas because of their low establishment cost per residence. Where there are several residences in a small area, a wireless system is effective for establishing a network at a low cost. Our investigation of residence plots in rural areas around Morioka city, Japan, revealed 15 residences on average at intervals of 50-200 m along roads. For such areas, there are no suitable wireless systems. In this paper, we propose a wired rural area network system that uses an optical submarine cable instead of a wireless system. We name it OSC-RAN. One of the goals for the OSC-RAN is to reduce the total cost, which includes both establishment and maintenance costs. We conducted the OSC-RAN field trial and provided trial services for about six months. We verified that residents and/or home appliance installation workers could establish the network, and they longed for the Internet.
Date of Conference: 12-14 Dec. 2011