[DC3] Dynamic Coalition on Innovative Approaches to Connecting the Unconnected

Sharada Srinivasan shar.srinivasan at gmail.com
Thu Nov 17 19:07:20 UTC 2016

Hi all,

I've been an observer on this group for a few months now and have been
amazed by the breadth of the discussions. This seems like a good time to
introduce myself.

My name is Sharada Srinivasan, and I'm a research fellow at the Center for
Technology, Innovation and Competition at the University of Pennsylvania. I
have a bachelor's degree in electrical and electronics engineering and a
master's degree in public policy, both from universities in India. I work
on a research project called 1 World Connected, which, as Carlos and Jane
have mentioned, is seeking to develop case studies of different projects
across the world that are engaged in connecting the unconnected. I do so by
desk research and where possible, conducting interviews with pioneers of
such projects. Community networks are one of our areas of focus, but the
project also looks at other supply-side solutions such as TVWS deployments
and rural ISPs, as well as demand-side initiatives such as those focused on
digital literacy and local content development. We have an initial catalog
of all such initiatives that we want to build case studies of over here:
https://goo.gl/rZLsWN, and I am working steadily to build this out over the
course of the next year. Indeed, you will notice that a number of the
initiatives on the list are community networks, and I look forward to
engaging with people on this list for the same at the IGF.

I am one of the members of the Dynamic Coalition on Innovative Approaches
to Connecting the Unconnected. Professor Christopher Yoo, Helani Galpaya,
Michael Kende and Rajan Mathews are the primary convenors of the dynamic
coalition. I thought it might be useful to clarify here that the dynamic
coalition from what I am aware of is aimed to be a lot broader than the
specific research project and seeks to work with and gain input from as
many members of the community as possible. Our case study work from the
project feeds into the DC, and the excel sheet of projects we can cover is
also open for input from the wider community (and has been shared on our DC
mailing list, as well as others). The project is a time-limited one, we are
hoping that the DC will remain as a forum for discussion and communication
on these initiatives long after our project captures snapshots of work at a
specific moment in time. So far through the DC, I have received input on
sources to include and mine for case studies via the mailing list and input
on literature I may not have yet read.

In response to Bob's question on metrics - we are waiting for more data to
come in through case studies before fully crystallising our next stages in
research. The case study development process has been shedding light on
what kind of data is available on various connectivity projects right now,
whether there are monitoring and evaluation techniques that are already in
place, and how we should think about the same.

I look forward to meeting you all at the IGF, and learning from the DC3
session as well as hopefully meeting you all in person as well.

Sharada Srinivasan
Research Fellow
Center for Technology, Innovation and Competition,
University of Pennsylvania.

On 17 November 2016 at 08:03, Bob Frankston <Bob19-0501 at bobf.frankston.com>

> I share your concerns. I did get a chance to speak to Michael Kende at IGF
> last year and felt that he was able to get a sense of connectivity outside
> of the traditional framing. But, overall, the sense is that, indeed, they
> are accepting the traditional idea that the Internet is basically just
> another telecom service and a series of (water) pipes rather than a new
> infrastructure. When I see mention of cost/benefit I wonder what metrics
> they are assuming.
> *From:* dc3-bounces at listas.altermundi.net [mailto:dc3-bounces at listas.
> altermundi.net] *On Behalf Of *Raoul Plommer
> *Sent:* Thursday, November 17, 2016 02:13
> *To:* Dynamic Coalition on Community Connectivity <
> dc3 at listas.altermundi.net>
> *Subject:* Re: [DC3] Dynamic Coalition on Innovative Approaches to
> Connecting the Unconnected
> Very interesting Nico. We'll have to keep a close eye on them and see that
> they are exposed in the way they should be.
> It really feels like they're stealing our thunder and making it profitable
> for those mega-corporations, instead of just giving people free access.
> We'd really want some person to maintain the database of networks and their
> solutions, once the material starts coming in. I wonder, if we'd actually
> be able to use some of their research and data for our more benevolent
> project.
> -Raoul
> On 17 November 2016 at 09:04, Nicolás Echániz <nicoechaniz at altermundi.net>
> wrote:
> On 11/17/2016 03:45 AM, Raoul Plommer wrote:
> > "We collate information from different sources, organize and synthesize
> > them using academic standards, and provide this information in an easy,
> > searchable and digestible form. Our commitment to academic standards, as
> > well as the fact that we are the first such initiative to make an effort
> > to compile such information, makes our work complementary to the number
> > of ongoing efforts."
> >
> > Well, I'll be damned. We obviously need to work together.
> Well I wouldn't go that far :)
> I see Facebook, Verizon, World Economic Forum as Dynamic Coalition
> Speakers here:
> http://www.intgovforum.org/cms/documents/igf-meeting/igf-
> 2016/910-dc-connecting-the-unconnected-igf2016session/file
> and it makes me think: we can maybe share some work, but I don't exactly
> imagine us working together as in with a common perspective.
> I've been invited to a WEF organized event in Buenos Aires a week ago
> framed in the Global Connect Initiative and the Internet For All program. I
> can assure you there was almost no one there sharing perspectives with most
> of the people I know from our DC3. Lots of big telecos, banks, credit card
> companies, etc. The words may sound similar but the focus is very different.
> I guess it will be interesting to see what this Dynamnic Coalition will
> actually be working on in the future.
> Cheers,
> Nico
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