Weekly Online Community Networks Hangout & Planning Sessions

Hi Jan, I visited Manila and Siargao recently, and spoke to a lot of people about community networks because the connectivity was really bad everywhere we went.

Most of what applies to other countries, will work there - the biggest challenge will be in areas with a lot of trees, where you will need more towers than most other networks - so I would encourage you to reach out to any other community networks and WISPs (or wireless ISPs) - in any country - but also in other island nations if you are thinking of starting something on one of the islands. (Timezones and languages might be issues)

We are doing weekly online video hangouts where we talk about- and help people plan networks - if you have a good enough connection to join, please do: https://wish.org.za/event

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Hi Coenraad,
I moved your response to its own thread as it was more in line with sharing a new resource than to the question that Jan was doing.
In this way what you are sharing can be seen by a wider audience, and the thread doesn’t get mixed up when people search for South Asia CN content.

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Thanks @dagelf.

I’m part of a 2-year old social entrep agency Limitless Lab (limitlesslab.org) based at Manila, Philippines. Our experience during most of our community exposures and interventions are the lack of social infrastructure as well as hard infrastructure on wired and wireless internet which keeps a majority of the citizens from accessing information on opportunities such as subsidies, scholarships and grants.

As a network administrator for the past 5 years at a local university I’d like to know more how community networks can be built and how they can be sustainable aside from the networking aspect. We aim to build one or more in the next 12 months somewhere at the periphery of Manila to communities in an adjacent province.

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Just speaking to random people I found a lot of people who were interested and willing - but they lacked the networking expertise :smiley:

Sustainbility is easily achieved if you look at it from the perspective of tapping into what people are already spending on mobile data.

The trick is just to get the first connections up so that you can start collecting some revenue - and in that it can help a lot if you either find a good anchor client as a first client - or if you can get several networks together to share the costs to build out a good backbone.

Thanks, @nicopace. I was a bit confused there for a moment… :smiley:

This touches on something else that I think is super important!

Normally we want to teach people to ask for permission before they do something - even if it is something good. I also contribute to Wikipedia - where I have seen how easily people get offended online - but there is a Wikipedia saying: “Be bold!” - (click on the link to read more about it) which means exactly this - to do something - because if it is a problem you can also undo it. The thing I want to mention is that - in real life, sometimes we can’t undo things.

So I think this is a good place to mention this - it is important to remember that even though this principle of “Be Bold!” can work online, in the real world this is not a good practice, what one person thinks is good, is sometimes not good for another, because there may be many reasons that everybody is not aware of - I have seen a lot of problems caused by “do-gooders” - people who want to do good things, but only cause trouble - and sometimes they don’t even see it - and we are working across so many cultures that we have to explain everything from the start every time, because people grow up in very different worlds with different norms and values - so even if we want to do the same things, there are different ways of achieving it - and what works in one place might not work in another.