A Modest Proposal

I have a modest proposal: I would like to see a HamWan-like network spanning the eastern seaboard, from (at least) Washington, DC into Nova Scotia.

Ok, maybe that’s not so modest.

Regardless, I envision hams running a high-speed microwave data network providing both IPv4 and IPv6, with multiple Internet peering points. This network would provide a true resource complex for radio amateurs, with hosts on the network providing a variety of services for research, experimentation, collaboration, and even emergency communications.

I imagine using this resource to interconnect AX.25 networks using this resource, providing AXUDP over the microwave network to interconnect low-speed packet networks.

With such infrastructure in place, we can begin to think about what the future might hold for amateur radio internetworking. Robert Quattlebaum, N6DRC, has designed a next generation link-layer protocol for amateur radio designed to directly support IP networking. Dubbed ARNGLL for “Amateur Radio Next-Generation Link-Layer”, this is roughly based on the 6LoWPAN standard for IPv6 connectivity for low-power devices. I have been working with him (slowly) in our mutual spare time to develop a reference implementation of the protocol and the associated ARNCE (Amateur Radio Numeric Callsign Encoding) specification, which describes how to convert callsigns into a numeric representation suitable for direct use as a station address.

An advanced future?

In the future, I envision a high-speed, long distance microwave amateur radio internetwork based on TCP/IP, peered with the Internet, with slow- and medium-speed devices connected with IP over ARNGLL and AX.25 tunneled over AXUDP.