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An open infrastructure for sub-millisecond internet time

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Microsecond level or more accurate time is crucial for emerging internet services, such as smart grids, high-frequency financial trading, and industrial automation. However, providing sub-millisecond time at internet scale is problematic today because the underlying infrastructure is still in its infancy, with only a few operators of time sources and time distribution networks serving specific regions or target groups. This for instance reduces the resilience level of the time services that internet operators such as ISPs can provide, because they cannot easily get a time signal from multiple time distribution networks. To solve this problem, we propose the establishment of an open sub-millisecond internet time infrastructure that makes it easy for new players to provide, distribute and use sub-millisecond time. To accomplish this, we propose developing (1) a set of best operational practices and open-source software components for new operators of time sources, time distribution networks, and internet services and (2) a database to easily discover and connect to time distribution networks.

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