Community networks on the web

Course guides Brazilian community networks on how to get legal recognition

This piece from CITAD brings the highlights of a civil society consultative meeting on community networks convened by them. The meeting, attended by over 40 CSOs from different parts of the country was held online using zoom on July 27 was meant to sensitize them on the importance of community networks as a tool for addressing the digital divide.

https://www.citad.org/communique-issued-at-the-end-of-a-one-day-civil-society-consultative-meeting-on-community-networks-convened-by-centre-for-information-technology-and-development-citad/

The Murambinda Works community network connects the district headquarter offices and spans a radius of 40 kilometers up to Nerutanga along Chivu Road. It has earned the name Murambinda Works through a public communications access system that reaches beyond the town itself, covering a population of 108,000, and providing accessible and affordable Internet to underserved communities in Buhera North and West.

A politics of difference: This article from REDES A.C. reflects on the scope of the Mexican Supreme Court thesis against the charge for spectrum use rights (available in Spanish):

On 13 January 2021, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the communities, in a unanimous decision that they would be exempt from such charges, in a legal challenge brought by Telecomunicaciones Indígenas Comunitarias A.C. (TIC AC).

18 August 2021 event
Asia-Pacific Regional Community Networks Summit

“In the shadow of the continuing global pandemic, and the heavy reliance on digital technologies that has created for all sectors, ESCAP and ISOC is reconvening the 2021 edition in support of the implementation of pillar 1 (Connectivity) of the Asia-Pacific Information Superhighway (AP-IS) initiative.”

URL: Asia-Pacific Regional Community Networks Summit 2021 - Innovating policymaking to connect the unconnected | ESCAP

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Community networks from Asia, Africa and Latin America gather online to share experiences, learnings and resources

https://www.apc.org/en/news/community-networks-asia-africa-and-latin-america-gather-online-share-experiences-learnings-and

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LAC internet access projects selected by FRIDA/LACNIC

FRIDA, LACNIC’s Regional Fund for the Strengthening of the Internet in Latin America and the Caribbean, announced the winners of its annual call for proposals, including some initiatives related to community networks.

On the Internet Access category, the “Pilot Project for Television White Space Technology in Montes de María, Colombia” by ADITUM S.A.S. took the award for its proposal on alternative access models.

And the projects selected as grant recipients were:

  • “4G Community Network,” by Telecomunicaciones Indígenas Comunitarias, A.C., Mexico;
  • “LibreRouter V2.0: Evolving Technological Sovereignty," by Asociación Civil AlterMundi, Argentina;
  • “Community Communications Networks for Strengthening the Circular Economy and Social Exchange in La Macarena, Meta,” bu Asociación Colnodo, Colombia;
  • “Reducing the Digital Divide in Vulnerable Populations in the City of Córdoba through the Use of WIFI and Unlicensed LTE Technology,” by the City of Córdoba.

More information can be found here:

19 Oct 2021 Costa Rica project helps to promote Cabécar culture, language

A project with Sula Batsu with partnership with WACC and APC.

“La antena de las mujeres (Women’s Antenna), seeks to address this challenge by establishing a local community network that will provide Cabecar women the tools to integrate young people in knowledge exchange processes using digital technologies”

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Seeding change: Creating a digital community network with the Ju|’hoan people in Namibia

This catalytic project built a digital community network for the Ju|’hoan people living in the remote Nyae Nyae Conservancy in Namibia. The team involved worked together with the community to co-design an offline social network that allowed the Ju|'hoansi people to exchange audio recordings, including ones about gardening challenges and practices to produce their food. Beyond overcoming the many access challenges faced in the region, their experience highlighted the value of technologies co-designed in a community-oriented approach and the importance of local content sharing.

Find out more: Seeding change: Creating a digital community network with the Ju|’hoan people in Namibia | Association for Progressive Communications

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INFRASTRUCTURES OF RESISTANCE: COMMUNITY NETWORKS HACKING THE GLOBAL CRISIS

In this second year of living in times of unequal global health crisis, this special edition of GenderIT.org show how intersectional approaches in community networks have been transforming realities by embodying infrastructures of resistance and bringing hope to their communities:

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SPACE: The mentorship programme that seeks to address gendered experiences in access-related policy and regulation building

https://www.apc.org/en/news/space-mentorship-programme-seeks-address-gendered-experiences-access-related-policy-and

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Gender and community networks

The Centre for Information technology and development (CITAD) convened a one-day consultative meeting on gender and community networks. This piece brings their observations and recommendations:

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The essence of community networks is more than the infrastructure. It’s giving communities power to self-determination, to build/adapt/use technologies that reflect their values, needs and priorities.
@josephine.miliza / KICTANet

Great news from Colnodo about the ‘Weinüin Walapüin’ community network in Colombia:

Super interesting contribution from @sol / ISOC on assessing community network readiness and planning and building the network.

Colnodo: Escuela de Seguridad Digital de Colnodo lanza Kit Comunitario para la formación y prevención de riesgos digitales en comunidades rurales

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Numun Fund’s first grant entirely dedicated to supporting feminist tech activism and work in the Larger World is open!

The “Seed, Grow and Sustain” Grant Call is open from 1 July to 1 August 2022.

This is grant a multi-year, flexible grant open for application by initiatives, collectives, groups and organisations with a focus on feminist tech activism in the Larger World (aka the Global South).

:: Download the [full application pack]: https://numun.fund/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/Seed-Grow-Sustain-Full-Application-Pack-Numun-Fund.pdf), or see it online, or in plaintext
:: [Start your application here]: Numun Fund’s first call for applications is open! - Numun Fund!

I think this is a really good resource that many of the community networks out there can benefit.
A wiki community around solar energy systems:
https://www.opensourcesolar.org/w/index.php/Main_Page/es

Mapeo is an Open Source tool for monitoring and documenting the world around you, an offline peer to peer app that was thought from the ground up to easily document environmental and human rights information.

It can definitely be used for surveying community sites for potential places were to set up infrastructure, as well as for geographic needs for the community that are not directly connected with telecom infrastructure.

Check out this story about it: Mapeo: Monitor and document the world around you - Earth Defenders Toolkit

Terrastories is an Open Source tool for place based storytelling.

Many earth defender communities across the world express a strong relationship with their territory, and a commitment to taking care of their territory in the way their ancestors have for generations. Doing so requires a strong sense of place and place-based knowledge, and there is no better place to learn that than through storytelling.

Storytelling is the way that information gets passed through the generations, but as colonization, deforestation and acculturation creep deeper into communities’ ways of life, that living memory is threatened.

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