Case Study-WildBlue Communications Inc

Case Study-WildBlue Communications Inc
April 14, 2011 Comments Off on Case Study-WildBlue Communications Inc Academic Papers on Information Technology,Sample Academic Papers admin

WildBlue Communications, Inc. is an Internet Service Provider which delivers broadband connectivity through satellite, especially in remote and rural areas requiring high-speed Internet connectivity. It uses two satellites built using state-of-the-art spot beam architecture to deliver it services in the US market. This allows WildBlue to provide higher bandwidth services at a much more affordable price as compared to the other Internet Service Providers in the US.

During the start of the service in 2000, WildBlue face some unique challenges with regards to its authentication procedure as well as sharing of the same spectrum with other similar service providers. The problem with sharing of the bandwidth carried more weight, as WildBlue shared its bandwidth on one of the satellites with Telestar, a service provider catering only the Canadian region. Hence it was required from WildBlue modems to uniquely identify and latch on to the correct signal. Furthermore, WildBlue also required protection from its services being used by non subscribers. Therefore an innovative approach was invented to use digital certificates for tackle both these problems. WildBlue co-developed a new protocol with its equipment vendor, called the Network Service Provider Authentication (NSPA) which was based on X.509 certificate. WildBlue also opted to use the Data over Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS) standard over it’s the access part of its network which forced the validation of all modems requesting a connection to the network. The DOCSIS standard uses digital certificate-based device authentication and public key cryptographic technique to allow only authentic devices to connect to the network.  For this purpose, each of the satellite modem issued by WildBlue is embedded with a digital device certificate that carries the modem’s MAC address.  This certificate is then used to establish the identity of a subscriber. These certificates are signed and issued by Verizon which also acts as their root CA through its Device Certificate Service. Furthermore, these certificates are only issued to those manufacturers which are authorized by WildBlue for its equipment (Verisign Inc., 2009).

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