Community networks and local access monthly newsletter – number 7

Image: Screenshot from the video “The Land of Zero Connect” by Digital Empowerment Foundation. Used with permission.

This newsletter is part of the project titled, “Local Access Networks: Can the unconnected connect themselves?” developed by APC in partnership with Internet Society and Rhizomática, with support from Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC). It is republished here on Rising Voices as part of a partnership with APC. Click here to see the original post on APC's website.

1. Get involved

  • If you are interested in being part of a movement for more transparency in the telecom sector through open data policies and practice, please join the discussion forum at Open Telecom Data. Read more in the discussion piece by Steve Song here and a follow-up podcast interview here.

2. Events and conferences

   2.1 Upcoming events

  • 13-18 July 2018 in Toronto, Canada: State of Our Networks, Beyond DIY – Do It With Others. The programme can be found here.
  • 5-6 September 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina: 5th Annual Latin America Spectrum Management Conference. Read more.
  • 16-17 October 2018 in London, UK: Telecom Infra Summit. Read more.
  • The Global Access to the Internet for All working group has been assigned a slot in the next IETF meeting in Montreal, on Tuesday 17 July from 15:50 to 17:20. Read more. That is the day after the IRTF conference.

2.2 Resources from past events

  • [En español] Video del webinar de ISOC sobre redes comunitarias en América Latina. Asiste aquí.
  • Blog post from Kazanka Comfort about her participation at the AfChix TechWomen Summit 2018, where community networks were discussed. Read more.
  • Community networks can bridge the digital divide, but some still need to be convinced: Summary of a roundtable organised by ISOC. Read more.
  • Investing in last-mile internet connectivity initiatives: Opportunities for social and commercial returns – A blog post providing background on innovative last-mile enterprises with AirJaldi as an example, leading up to the AVPN Conference 2018. Read more.
  • [En español] La comunidad realizó su encuentro anual entre el 2 y 3 de junio y aqui hay algunas de las presentaciones que se compartieron allí. Asiste aquí.
  • Economic landscape under the new Telecommunications Code: How will the new co-investment rules and new obligations affect small providers in the EU? Read more.

3. Community networks in news and blogs

  • [En español] En Argentina y en toda la región todavía hay muchos sitios donde no ha llegado internet y las poblaciones se mantienen aisladas y sin posibilidades de crecer a través de esta herramienta. El proyecto Atalaya Sur, del que forma parte Manuela González, trabaja desde el año 2014 para revertir esta problemática en el país. Conoce cómo trabaja este equipo en esta entrega de “Heroes Cotidianos”. Leer más.
  • Nonprofit ISP in Mexico wins court battle against huge federal fee. Read more.
  • Zero Connect is part of the Digital Empowerment Foundation's Wireless for Communities (W4C) project, in partnership with the Internet Society (ISOC), and supported by Agariya Heetrakshak Manch. It brings broadband internet connectivity to the far-flung areas of the Little Rann of Kutch in Gujarat, and gives a digital voice to the socially and economically marginalised Agariya salt farming community. The video “The Land of Zero Connect” illustrates the reality of this situation and the work being done there. Watch here.
  • Building the digital silk road together: Kyrgyz ISOC Chapter proposes ideas for internet development in Central Asia at the Cambridge University Forum. Read here.
  • Sovereignty is more than a designation, it is a responsibility. Read more.
  • [En español] Resumen del MeetUp desarrollado en la ciudad de Bogotá auspiciado por representantes colombianos de Bitnation, donde Lilian Chamorro de Colnodo presentó el trabajo de la organización colombiana en redes comunitarias. Leer más.
  • TunapandaNET paves the way for Kenya to connect the underserved. Read more.
  • In November 2017, the Internet Society hosted the inaugural Indigenous Connectivity Summit in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The event brought together community network operators, internet service providers, community members, researchers, policy makers, and indigenous leadership. One of the participants shared her story. Read more.
  • AfChix, an initiative supporting women-led community networks in Africa, has been selected as a semifinalist of the Women Connect Challenge. Read more.
  • The Community Networks Workshop “Connecting the Unconnected” took place in June in Africa at the African Union building, and there will be a before and after this workshop in the region. Read more.
  • AT&T and Time Warner are cleared to merge. Read more.
  • During the Mobile World Congress 2018, it was announced that will be responsible for developing 5G network architecture focused on access and affordability in a community in Tarragona, Spain. This will take place through the RIFE (aRchitecture for an Internet for Everybody) project, which forms part of the H2020 European financing framework. APCNews discussed all of this with Roger Baig, a member. Read more. También disponible en español.

4. Relevant articles on technologies and other resources related to local access networks

  • The LibreRouter is about to become available. AlterMundi has made a video explaining how it works. Please help them collect information that will enable them to prepare for the public release of the LibreRouter. Read more.
  • Rhizomatica demonstrate on video that an SMS between two cell phones using HF radio is possible! Watch here.
  • NuRAN Wireless Inc. announced the signature of an agreement with Africa Mobile Networks, a wholesale mobile operator, to supply its rural 2G radio access network (RAN) solutions for a minimum of five countries with the potential of expanding to 13 additional countries. Read more.
  • Rhizomatica has created a short guide to choose your low-cost BTS for community cellular projects. Read more.
  • [En español] Diversos escenarios fueron abordados en la sexta versión del Congreso Latinoamericano de Telecomunicaciones que tuvo lugar en Cuba. Entre los retos identificados por los panelistas se destaca la dificultad regulatoria para la expansión de la infraestructura, como también la disyuntiva entre los gobiernos, que quieren más cobertura de servicios, mientras los operadores piden menos impuestos. Leer más.

5. Policy and regulation

  • Karla Velasco Ramos blogs about the REDES AC team’s participation in global regulation processes. Read more. Karla Velasco Ramos and Rodrigo Huerta also spoke recently to regulators on community networks at the PCC1 (32nd Meeting of CITEL Permanent Consultative Committee I: Telecommunications/Information and Communication Technologies). Read more.
  • There is a little bit of everything in this podcast at Tech Central interviewing Steve Song. Listen here.
  • An African TV white space strategy, by Steve Song. Read more.
  • In this instalment of's column on community networks and gender, the authors interview Steve Song to explore how communities can provide and run their own internet infrastructure, the existing forms of community networks, the legal and policy environment in which they have to exist, and what the gender dynamics around these networks are. Read more.
  • Stop data retention: On 25 June 2018, 62 NGOs, community networks, academics and activists sent a joint open letter to the European Commission along with various complaints against EU member states’ policy on blanket data retention. Read more.

6. Reports and publications

6.1 Reports relevant to community networks and local access initiatives

  • The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) released “The gap between us: Perspectives on building a better online Canada”, a report that highlights small organisations who are building local innovation by bringing internet to remote parts of Canada. Read more. The report can be found here.

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