Internet

With Project Pangea, Cloudflare Wants to Bring the Internet to Everyone – PCMag.com


(Illustration: Don Bishop / Getty Images)

Cloudflare plans to help bring underserved communities around the world online by offering free access to a trio of its services through a program called Project Pangea.

The company says Project Pangea will grant Cloudflare Network Interconnect, Magic Transit, and Magic Firewall access to “nonprofit community networks, local networks, or other networks primarily focused on providing internet access to local underserved or developing areas.”

Those services don’t actually provide internet access—it’s up to the program’s members to bring their communities online. But they can improve the performance of those connections, defend them from distributed denial-of-service attacks, and protect the devices connected to them.

“We’ve learned from working with customers that pure connectivity is not enough to keep a network sustainably connected to the internet,” Cloudflare says. “Malicious traffic, such as DDoS attacks, can target a network and saturate internet service links, which can lead to providers aggressively rate limiting or even entirely shutting down incoming traffic until the attack subsides. This is why we’re including our security services in addition to connectivity as part of Project Pangea: no attacker should be able to keep communities closed off from accessing the internet.”

The company acknowledged that building these networks in the first place can be a struggle due to environmental factors, regulatory obstacles, and other concerns. But that doesn’t mean those networks can’t benefit from the same technologies as better-established networks.

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A network has to meet two requirements to join Project Pangea: It must have its own IPv4 space, although Cloudflare said IPv6 support is “coming soon,” and it must have or be able to establish a “backhaul” to “an exchange point at eligible Cloudflare public or private peering locations.”

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Cloudflare also says Project Pangea members’ network “bandwidth cannot exceed 5Gbps at the 95th percentile,” and that it “may update this figure upon 15 days notice.” More information about how the program works and who is eligible to join it is available via its landing page.

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