A novel model of Internet access networks is proposed, based on fog computing. The model hosts applications close to users by relying on virtual machines to dynamically move cloud or Web content to nodes located at the edge of access networks. Then it can perform proactive caching and enforce traffic policies based on the interaction between access infrastructure and external applications. By analyzing experimental data collected from public Wi-Fi hotspots, the authors quantify the benefits of this approach for bandwidth usage optimization, latency reduction, and quality of experience enhancement. Experimental results show that a significant portion (from 28 to 50 percent) of download data could be managed by the fog node. On the basis of these findings, useful insights for future-generation access networks are provided.
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