“Community Networks and the Identity of African Innovation”, an interview with Nicola Bidwell as part of the Oxford University Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy’s Global Media and Policy Seminar Series, will be launched on 3 May on their YouTube channel here. Read more.
Between 29 April and 3 May, the Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL) will have its 34th meeting in Lima, Peru. CITEL is the telecommunications regulation body for the Americas, and usually discusses topics related to telecommunications that affect or influence the capacity for community networks to operate. All the materials are available publicly on their website here.
- Commonalities and differences in regulatory frameworks of community networks in Asia, by Digital Empowerment Foundation
- Community networks: Open cooperation space. From concept to action, by Fundação Getulio Vargas
- Community networks: How we build a truly free and open internet, by People's Open Network
- Widening the spectrum: How can radio spectrum regulation advance community networks, by Public Knowledge
- Data security: It ain't your fault, but it is your fight, by Detroit Community Technology Project/Our Data Bodies Project
- Making regulatory waves: A discussion on the need for collaborative spectrum management policy development, by ARTICLE 19
- Public access, local connectivity, libraries: How they can work together and democratize access to the internet, by IFLA.
Access Now’s policy is that regardless of where you are located, the price of the tickets should never prohibit attendance at RightsCon. Please write to them if that's the case here: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Battlemesh v12 conference on wireless networks and open source software will be held from 8 to 14 July at "Le 6B", 6-10 Quai de Seine, 93200 Saint-Denis, France (very close to Paris). It will bring together people from across the globe who are interested in community networks, including wireless mesh network technologies, fibre infrastructure, do-it-yourself internet access providers, and more generally, how to create and maintain a thriving community of people involved in building their own networks. You can ask for travel assistance in the registration form. Read more.
The call for applications for travel support to attend the 2019 Internet Governance Forum, #IGF2019 (Berlin, 25-29 November), will be open until 30 June 2019. The IGF is a global multistakeholder platform of the United Nations that facilitates the discussion of public policy issues pertaining to the internet. Read more.
The EQUALS in Tech Awards is open for nominations, which will be accepted until 11 June 2019. The awards recognise innovative initiatives and projects promoting gender equality online and in the tech sector, in areas such as access, skills, leadership and research. If you want to nominate a project go here.
[En español] Mujeres interesadas en participar de la Conferencia Latinity 2019 pueden optar por una beca que cubre los viáticos para la participación en el evento. Leer más.
[En español] El Foro de Gobernanza de Internet para Latinoamérica y el Caribe tendrá lugar este año en La Paz, Bolivia, del 5 al 9 de agosto. Leer más.
The next Offline Camp will take place 2-5 August 2019. If you're excited about the #OfflineFirst approach to development/design, we want to see you there! Read more.
Applications for the IPFS Camp are now open for the first time ever! Builders of the Distributed Web will gather in Barcelona 27-30 June 2019 for three action-packed days of workshops (featuring brand new @ProtoSchool content!), hacking and deep dives. Read more here and here, and follow #IPFS #libp2p #Dweb.
re:publica will be taking place 6-8 May 2019, in Berlin, Germany. Read more.
[En español] LACNIC 31, del 6 al 10 de mayo 2019, en Punta Cana, República Dominicana. Leer más.
Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science Technology and Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals (STI Forum), 14-15 May 2019, New York, United States. Read more.
Pacific ICT Days, 16-17 May 2019, Port Vila, Vanuatu. Read more.
Stockholm Internet Forum (SIF), 16-17 May 2019, Stockholm, Sweden. Read more.
The 10th World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) featured the following sessions related to community networks:
- Session 253 – Benefits of local connectivity initiatives for gender equity, social and economic development and viability of community networks as alternative to connect the unconnected. Watch here.
- Session 143 – Community Networks and Connecting the Last Billion. Watch here.
- Session 220 – Connecting the Unconnected: Overview of Technologies to Reach Beyond Communication Barriers. Watch here.
The IGF 2018 has released a report about the Best Practice Forum on Local Content, which highlights the relevance of prioritising local over international content, and features the Tusheti community network as an example, along with other interesting proposals. Read more.
What is rural co-op fibre broadband like? Testimonial: “Truestream is more than 400 times faster than speeds we were able to get with our previous Internet provider. And for 75% less money with no contract and unlimited everything!” Read more.
More information is available online than ever. Libraries are stepping in to make sure everyone can access it. Read more.
Mandatory e-learning in high school could be a challenge in rural Ontario: "She tried to send in an assignment for her Grade 10 Careers and Civics summer course and the internet kept dropping out". Read more.
[En español] ¿Cómo podemos conectar cientos de comunidades olvidadas por el estado y la iniciativa privada? Estas organizaciones tienen varias propuestas. Leer más.
In Lebanon, the Internet Society chapter is supporting a community network initiative as a way of "creating a better internet for everyone". Read more.
Rhizomatica has deployed a new community cellular network site at San Pedro Yaneri, Oaxaca, Mexico. Read more.
Coolab and others organised a community networks gathering in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Read more.
The Detroit Community Technology Project was highlighted in Rising Voices. Read more.
Meeting and sharing with new people helps to foster new ideas. Crystal Gail Fraser joined us at the Indigenous Connectivity Summit to discuss how her community in Inuvik, Canada is connected to the internet. Read more.
In response to a public consultation on Kenya’s 2018-2023 National Broadband Strategy, APC joined Rhizomatica, the Internet Society, World Wide Web Foundation/Alliance for Affordable Internet, ARTICLE 19 Eastern Africa, Tunapanda Institute and KICTANet to submit the comments published here. Find out more about the process here.
Uganda held a public consultation on the proposed review of the licensing framework for the telecommunications sector, and Rhizomatica, APC, CIPESA, AfChix and BOSCO contributed a submission highlighting the measures needed to unleash the potential of community networks. Read more.
[En español] La Organización para la Cooperación y el Desarrollo Económico (OCDE), que incluye 36 paises, presentó una revisión a la modificación del proyecto de ley de modernización TIC en Colombia, resaltando algunos puntos pero indicando graves fallas en otros. Leer más. El informe recomienda explícitamente la inclusión de las redes comunitarias para reducir la brecha digital. Este comunicado se suma a los varios comentarios de la sociedad civil al respecto, como los realizados por Fundación Karisma aquí. Lo positivo es que este proyecto de ley ha sido revertido, y esperamos que estos comentarios sean útiles para construir uno nuevo con mayor inclusión.
The 5G debate has been on for some time, with manufacturers and the telecom industry heavily pressuring governments for its adoption, but much more discussion is needed because of the multiple implications of its implementations. For a comprehensive article about these, read Peter Bloom's analysis here. And a more concise version that tackles how 5G is poorly suited to tackle the digital divide here.
The Wireless Association of South Africa (WAPA) has also published an interesting article about 5G in a satirical tone. Read more. The A4AI agrees that focus should be put on areas other than 5G. Read more.
[En español] En "La revolución 5G", Manuel Castells dice: La nueva revolución tecnológica se está convirtiendo en un campo de batalla geopolítico. Leer más.
The Government of Kyrgyzstan, with the help of UNICEF, has obtained real-time mapping of all 2,137 public schools with their connectivity to the internet. Read more.
The LINK Centre's Certificate in Telecommunications Policy, Regulation and Management (TPRM) equips participants with the professional development necessary to engage with the full range of policy and regulation matters currently at play in African national and regional ICT sectors. This year’s course begins on 8 July 2019. Read more.
The Netherlands regulator forced operator VodafoneZiggo to publish their wholesale rates. Opening telecom data enables a healthier market for community networks and for the average consumer too. Read more.
This video explains the implications of the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decision to expand the Wi-Fi band into 6 GHz, and what it means in terms of the potential for more unlicensed bandwidth for community networks in the future. Watch here.
There is a 700 MHz spectrum auction coming up in Colombia. Read more.
Upcoming consultation on 4G spectrum in India. Read more.
Steve Song's "Spectrum Auctions Are Killing Competition And Failing Rural Access" makes the case for secondary use of spectrum for small operators and community networks. Read more.
[En español] El regulador de telecomunicaciones de México, IFT, dará asesoría a indígenas para concesiones de radio y TV. Este es un muy buen ejemplo de cómo el regulador puede tener un trato diferente para diferentes tipos de ciudadanos/as, considerando a quienes se encuentran en zonas rurales. Leer más.
What if governments invested in community networks and small ISPs to close the digital divide? Bolivia to be completely food independent in 2020 by investing in small farmers. Read more.
The Government Accountability Office filed three recommendations to the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to better promote tribal access to spectrum. Read more.
The Ministry of Telecommunication of Somalia launched a consultation process for its Draft National ICT Policy & Strategy. The deadline is 31 May 2019. This introduces a great opportunity to make contributions that could lead to a more enabling framework for community networks. APC and Rhizomatica will make a written submission to this process. Reach out to us if you want to be part of it! Read more.
The Summary of provisional findings and recommendations, Data Services Market Inquiry, from the Competition Commission South Africa, is an extremely informative document about the reasons leading to anti-poor pricing from the mobile network operators. Among other recommendations, it includes investing in alternative infrastructure, like community networks, to give people a choice. Comments for the final version are invited until 14 June 2019. Read more.
Does ICT generate economic growth? "There is evidence that Internet access contributes to growth in developing countries and that this effect might even be larger for productivity. However, these positive findings about Internet technology in the developing world are not robust across plausible MRA specifications. More research is needed to understand the effect of Internet technology on developing nations", by T. D. Stanley & others. Read more.
A good piece on the digital divide in the US. It unpacks the over-simplified concept of the digital divide. Read more.
BuenosAiresLibre has been one of the networks that allowed many practitioners to get into wireless hacking. This recent paper talks about it. Read more.
[En español] Hasta el 15 de mayo de 2019 está abierta la convocatoria para el Programa FRIDA de financiamiento, que en este año se enfoca en redes comunitarias y en equidad de género. Leer más.
The UNESCO Prize for Girls’ and Women’s Education will award two USD 50,000 grants to advance girls' and women's education. Applications will be accepted until 28 May 2019. Read more.
Applications are being accepted until 30 May 2019 for the Edgeryders Internet of Humans Fellowship: What you would like to build, explore or learn about building a human-centric internet. Read more.
Until 1 June 2019, the NLnet Foundation is inviting applications to its Next Generation Internet funding initiative, open to project proposals for the themes of "Privacy and Trust Enhancing Technology" and "Search and Discovery". Read more.
The Shuttleworth Foundation offers fellowships to individuals to implement their innovative ideas for social change. They are most interested in exceptional ideas at the intersection between technology, knowledge and learning, with openness being the key requirement. The deadline for applications is 1 June 2019. Read more.
Previous editions of this newsletter are available here.