Examples of big governmental investments on community networks?

Do you know any example of significant financial investments (more than 5 millions USD) made by governments for the development of community networks?

I lead the investment strategy of the Agence Francaise de Developpement (French public development bank) in the digital sector. We usually lend money to governments which invest on digital infrastructure (first, middle or last mile) and associated projects and public policies. We have a strong focus on Africa. Also on infrastructures which strongly support the fight against climate change (not specifically in Africa). We have no real experience in the field of community networks yet and are wondering if and how are debt instruments could help.

Thanks.

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Jean

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Bonjour Jean. I am not aware of any financial debt instruments on that scale (yet) made by governments in community networks. However, this is something that has been on the radar of several people in the community. I think the best person for you to speak to would be Ramon Roca of Guifi.net in Spain. He has been developing a plan to scale up financing for community networks and I am sure would be happy to discuss the details with you.

I am pinging him here @rroca If he doesn’t come back to you here, PM me and I can introduce you via email.

Kind regards… Steve Song

generally speaking, the problem on governmental “big” funds is actually that they are too big for communities, so never reach them because of being small, only reaching large and private companies, but not on the general public interest.

definitely yes, some intermediate financial instruments need to be build, that’s one of my objectives with the permission of the covid.

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Agreed. Not only too big but also too heavy on administrative, compliance and reporting requirements. But the money is there though. And much needed on the ground I guess? What’s missing from a bank perspective is … a bankable organization governed by commoners and capable of delivering social impact while complying with the administrative and legal requirements.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need or have suggestions about how to solve this kind of issue. My email is milleratj at afd dot org.

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De : noreply@communitynetworks.group noreply@communitynetworks.group
Envoyé : mardi 3 novembre 2020 09:23
Ă€ : MILLERAT Jean milleratj@afd.fr
Objet : [Community Networks] Examples of big governmental investments on community networks?







rroca
3 November

generally speaking, the problem on governmental “big” funds is actually that they are too big for communities, so never reach them because of being small, only reaching large and private companies, but not on the general public interest.

definitely yes, some intermediate financial instruments need to be build, that’s one of my objectives with the permission of the covid.


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I believe that a lot of this can be automated. Can we not perhaps explore an adjacent vector: government spending on any consumer commodity for distribution? In South Africa what jumps to mind is subsidized set top boxes for digitial migration, as well as USAF obligations. But I’m sure there must me plenty of others.

There has been Under Serviced Area Funds (I think that’s what USAF stands for, and I think it originated from the UN and ITU) - that have resulted in dumping of equipment at numerous locations in South Africa - equipment that went unused and gathered dust - the chief incentive for doing so having been the profit made by the proprietors who supplied the equipment - and the ability for the operators under obligation to use that tick a box in their USAF requirements. In my opinion, “dumping” equipment can be a viable solution, if it’s the right equipment - and this relegates the administrative duties to the operators who are already competent in such - eg. Something solar powered, that broadcasts its own instructions for use. For example, a solar powered mesh node that broadcasts educational videos via Wi-Fi - and that will automatically connect to the internet and update itself when connectivity becomes available.

I am personally currently struggling to make ends meet, but am doing just ad-hoc work so I can keep working on some of these ideas - if anyone wants to team up to tackle this more comprehensively. Hopefully someone wealthy will read this and somehow buy into it and just roll with it and we won’t have to. This is not something ridiculous to say, and I have seen it happen.

Oops, my email address is milleratj at aft dot fr (not dot org)