Our Network

Note: This is a technical article. If terms like BGP and IPv6 don’t ring any bells, click here for a simpler explanation. 🙂

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The Community Access Network (CAN) consists largely of long range 802.11a/b/g/n links spanning a combined length of many hundreds of kilometres. The CAN is an open network, where we encourage all members to use the network for whatever purposes they see fit. It’s also an educational network, so if you’re interested in Wi-Fi (or even just networking in general) it’s a fantastic way to get exposure – and we encourage all members to get involved!

We are always looking to expand coverage of the CAN, as well as peer with any like minded networks, so if you think this sounds like fun, you should contact us!

Access to the CAN is free for all WACAN members and entitles you to full use of the CAN, as well as any services made available. If you’re curious about what services are available on the CAN, check out our Services Listing!

The nitty gritty

IP Addressing

All of our nodes are run on private IP space, (RFC1918 and ULA for IPv4 and IPv6, respectively). Each Access Point is allocated a /24 of IPv4 and a /48 of IPv6 address space. Station Nodes are allocated IP space from within their AP’s space. Multihomed Station Nodes and Transit Nodes may request their own /24, if required.

Routing

All routing is conducted by eBGP, using private ASNs (and your networking equipment must support 32-bit/4-byte ASNs to participate) with each AP/Transit Nodes getting their own ASN. As with IP space, a multi-homed station will also receive an ASN.

We currently do not allow any internet IPv4 space to be announced over the CAN and all nodes are encouraged to filter their BGP appropriately.

Hardware

Currently, all of our public AP nodes are running Ubiquiti Networks radios and we mandate the use of AirMAX (UBNT’s TDMA protocol for wireless), which allows us to have better traffic management and eliminate hidden node issues. We encourage all AP/Transit Nodes to employ DSCP marking on egress to ensure AirMAX can prioritise latency sensitive applications.

Spanning Tree

The network runs Spanning-Tree on all AP nodes, but we also encourage all AP/Transit nodes to isolate their uplinks to the CAN, to prevent loops from starting.

Filtering/Blocking

We do not currently firewall or rate limit any protocols (other than the DSCP marking described above), but reserve the right to limit or block any traffic that is causing a measurable impact on the performance of the network. VPNs for private traffic are permitted over the CAN as long as it doesn’t cause any impact as referred to in the previous statement.

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