Community networks on the web

2020 Community Networks Stories
Here is a series of 12 stories from community networks or groups facilitating the growth of community network across Asia, Latin America and Africa who came together last year to learn and exchange experiences on the ground.

  1. Community Networks Stories: Creating songs with children in an Indonesian indigenous village (Common Room, Indonesia):

  2. Community Networks Stories: Building access to digital learning in Malawi, where connectivity is usually “only accessible to a few elites” (CYD Malawi):

  3. Community Networks Stories: On the road to building internet access for all, why not take our children with us? (Altermundi, Argentina):

  4. Community Networks Stories: “Pink… the colour of my internet” (Gram Marg, India):

  5. Community Networks Stories: Milestone event brings national stakeholders to a remote community to raise awareness of the potential of local access networks (BOSCO Uganda):

  6. Community Networks Stories: When internet access goes beyond service provision to become a community-managed common good (Instituto Bem Estar Brasil):

  7. Community Networks Stories: Facilitating technical learning and livelihood opportunities for young men and women on a remote island in the DRC (Ensemble pour la Difference, DRC):

  8. Community Networks Stories: Knowledge and experience sharing among networks brings the spirit of teamwork and the power of collaboration (ASORCOM, Myammar):

  9. Community Networks Stories: ComunicArte gathering in Colombia fosters mutual learning among peers (Colnodo, Colombia):

  10. Community Networks Stories: Sharing the vision and importance of the network, to improve and strengthen people’s lives (Zenzeleni, South Africa):

  11. Community Networks Stories: Servelots uses community mesh radio to demystify technology through storytelling (Servelot, India):

  12. Community Networks Stories: Coolab Camp, an immersive, collaborative event for learning about hardware, software and care (Coolab, Brazil):


Natakanu is a collaborative tool. This file transfer software is built on the Hypercore and dat:// peer to peer protocols.

It aims to increase accessibility to tools for sharing, collaboration and transmission of Indigenous cultures, knowledge and artistic expressions.

Natakanu works offline and online. This local first software embodies our approach of de-colonized cyberspace.


B4RN asked their volunteers and customers what broadband had meant for them during Covid-19 lockdown.

The report summarises how good connectivity helped people keep in touch, work from home and access education.


New Research Article on initial data usage measures for a community network based in Cape Town, South Africa:

Phokeer, A., Hadzic, S., Nitschke, E., Van Zyl, A., Johnson, D., Densmore, M., & Chavula, J. (2020, June). iNethi Community Network: A first look at local and Internet traffic usage. In Proceedings of the 3rd ACM SIGCAS Conference on Computing and Sustainable Societies (pp. 342-344).

From the abstract:
iNethi is a community wireless network based in a township within Cape Town, South Africa.
-“Initial usage clearly indicates a demand for Internet-based external services and, to a lesser extent, local services.”
-“We observed that a large proportion of data is being consumed by software or antivirus updates.”

New Research Article:

Tréguer, F., & de Rosnay, M. D. (2020). The Political Defence of the Commons: The Case of Community Networks. tripleC: Communication, Capitalism & Critique. Open Access Journal for a Global Sustainable Information Society , 18 (2), 560-574.

From the Abstract:
“This article reflects on experiences of political advocacy which have been led by Community Networks activists in Germany, France and Spain to support the sustainability of bottom-up initiatives aiming at building community-owned telecom infrastructures, or “telecom-mons””


This link doesn’t work. :slight_smile:

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New Research Article:

An investigation on multi-stakeholder relations and understanding of ownership from the onset of a community network project is critical in the establishment of a CN.

Farao, J., Burse, M., Mthoko, H., & Densmore, M. (2020, March). Stakeholder Relations and Ownership of a Community Wireless Network: The Case of iNethi. In International Conference on Innovations and Interdisciplinary Solutions for Underserved Areas (pp. 176-191). Springer, Cham.


New Research Article:

“In this paper, we propose a new adaptive channel allocation algorithm for a multi-radio multi-channel wireless mesh network.”

Hassan, W.; Farag, T. Adaptive Allocation Algorithm for Multi-Radio Multi-Channel Wireless Mesh Networks. Future Internet 2020 , 12 , 127.

Jnoptik Intrabach, Intranet en escuelas sin conexión a Internet, ante pandemia COVID-19

The UN verification mission in Colombia has been working with ColNodo @lilichara @Julian_Casasbuenas_G and they published an article about it:´h-wejxia-casil-una-red-que-conecta-al-cauca-profundo-con-el-mundo

Community Networks Adapt to New Realities Under COVID: A DWeb Meetup Recap

Colombia Case Study - Colnodo’s work piloting licensed spectrum in Buenos Aires, Cauca, Nuestra Red’s wifi work

Spanish Version

English Version

Josephine’s paper for the paper series under African Declaration on Internet Rights & Freedoms

Miliza, J (2020 Jun 30). A provisional analysis of the impact of telecommunications
policy and regulatory frameworks in Africa and COVID-19: A community networks perspective.

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Copied from the email:
"The Academy of Science of South Africa, ASSAf recently held an IID Webinar on Building Profitable and Sustainable Community Owned Connectivity Networks on 31 August.

We thought you might have an interest in the proceedings of the Webinar.

Please kindly find below the links with Presentations and Recordings to share with your Networks.

Link 1-IID Webinar-Building-Sustainable-CNs-Presentations&Audio

Link 2-IID Webinar-Building-Sustainable-CNs-Video Recording"

The Argentinian case of has been mentioned as a case study in the A4AI Good Practices database:

cc: @spiccinini @dbellomo

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APC shares a brief of the work done in the last four years in relation to Community Networks.


Philippines government plans to build community-based cellular networks in remote areas


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A story from Lilian Achom (thanks for letting us share!) on her journey with AfChix, which includes her appreciation for four women-led community networks:

-Lanet Umoja Community Network (Kenya),
-Ait Izdeg Community Network (Morocco),
-Groot-Aub Community Network (Namibia) and
-WELM@ Community Network (Senegal)
as well as links to the Women’s Connect challenge work… Also shout outs to Tunapanda and Bosco Uganda! :slight_smile: