After all the noise some of us have made at national, regional and
international Internet Governance spaces, it looks like the ITU Council
wants to hear directly “How can small/community/non-profit operators
help in promoting the increase of Internet connectivity?”
This poses an unique opportunity to showcase directly to the ITU Council
all the amazing work that most of you are doing, specially at times
where CNs are gaining more and more visibility to curve the digital
divide and rural marginalization that is now more and more apparent due
to the pandemic. And I say directly because this request is made through
one of the very few consultations the ITU open to all stakeholders: the
Open Public Consultation of the Council Working Group on International
Internet-related Public Policy Issues (CWG-Internet). I provide a bit of
background about it below for those who are interested.
The consultation is structured as a set of questions, one of them the
one included above, available in the following link:
where you can also find important information and instructions on the
I think it is strategically important that the ITU receives as many
contributions from each of us as possible highlighting the many
different ways community operators help in promoting the increase of
Internet connectivity. This will surely contribute in creating a more
policy and regulatory environment for community networks in each of your
I’ve copied some of the basic instructions to participate below.
Participating can be as easy as forwarding existing text you may have
written (the GISWatch country report for those of you who wrote it:
https://www.giswatch.org/community-networks) to the email address below.
Note that your online submission can be drafted in a UN language other
than English (these are Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish),
but you are encouraged (not obliged) to provide a translation in English
for the benefit of all readers.
At APC we are available to provide support to any of you wanting to make
a submission but struggling with the process. Please do not hesitate to
reach out to me directly.
== Basic instructions ==
You can include your responses to the questions into the online form in
the following link :
send it to InternetPublicViews(a)itu.int including your Full Name, Title,
Country and Organization you are representing.
Your response will then be published on the ITU Website:
Please include each submission also includes a short summary/abstract
(1-3 paragraphs). This will form part of the final summary document to
be published after the end of the physical open consultation meeting.
== Background ==
ITU Council Working Groups
There are different Working Groups set up to provide input to the ITU
Council in different matters. In the last last Council Group (February,
2020) meeting four appeared to be active :
- Council Working Group on International Internet-related Public Policy
- Council working group on Child Online Protection (WG-CP)
- Council Working Group on WSIS (WG-WSIS)
- Council Working Group on Financial and Human Resources (CWG-FHR)
The participation in those working groups varies and some are for
Members States (MS) only, others allow for the participation of Sector
CWG-Internet is limited to Member States, but they hold an open
consultation to all stakeholders. This poses one of the few
opportunities for Civil Society Organizations that are not Sector
Members of the ITU to present their views to the ITU Council. In most
other ITU’s consultations, organizations such as the Association for
Progressive Communications and the Internet Society, both with Sector
Member status do their best to bring the voice of the Civil Society in
general, and of community networks in particular to these spaces.
In particular, CWG-Internet is tasked to identify, study and develop
matters related to international Internet-related public policy issues
and to disseminate its outputs throughout ITU's membership, as well as
to report annually to the Council on activities undertaken on these
subjects  .
The 13th Session of the ITU Council Working Group on International
Internet-related Public Policy Issues (CWG-Internet) decided on 20
September 2019 to hold an open consultation (online and physical) on
“International internet-related public policy issues on harnessing new
and emerging telecommunications/ICTs for sustainable development” where
some of our contributions provided already content in relation to
community connectivity .
In the 13th Session it was also decided that the next round of Open
Consultations (February 2020 – August 2020), on the topic of “Expanding
Internet Connectivity” with the questions below: 
Expanding Internet Connectivity
- What are the challenges and opportunities for expanding Internet
connectivity, particularly to remote and under-served areas? What are
the roles of governments and non-government actors in overcoming these
- Are there particular challenges facing land-locked countries in
securing affordable Internet access? What can be done to overcome these
- How can small/community/non-profit operators help in promoting the
increase of Internet connectivity?
Carlos Rey-Moreno, PhD
Local Access Policy and Regulation Coordinator
Association for Progressive Communications
Cel: +27 (0) 76 986 3633
Skype: carlos.reymoreno Twitter: Creym
That is the right comment at the right moment. While Chapters push for
improving competition, it would also be a good step in the same direction
to ask responsible actors in the Telecom sector to come closer together to
expand upon broader initiatives, such as the one reported in CircleID:
This development concerns open broadband network gateways (BNGs). The list
and the DC on CNs may look into this article and the ISOC NY comment
further, first to examine if the open broadband network is of any
significance, or if it is merely a fancy name to retain the share of
existing networks in the connectivity space. If it is indeed an initiative
progressing towards openness, we could call for concrete measures to open
up the Spectrum for Community Networks, SME networks and for innovations in
Sivasubramanian M <https://www.linkedin.com/in/sivasubramanianmuthusamy/>
On Wed, Nov 25, 2020 at 3:48 PM Joly MacFie via InternetPolicy <
> The city has reached a settlement with Verizon, ensuring that the
> communications giant expands its broadband Fios service to 500,000
> additional Big Apple households, including at NYCHA buildings, Mayor Bill
> de Blasio announced Tuesday.
> The agreement secured by the de Blasio administration forces the telecom
> giant to expand access to its high-tech fiber-optic network in more than
> two dozen working and middle-class neighborhoods across the city —
> including wiring the public housing complexes in those communities for
> Note ISOC-NY comment on original audit that led to the case.
> “The Internet Society believes the Internet is for everyone. Fast,
> affordable, reliable broadband has become an essential service like water
> and power. The Mayor's audit finds that Verizon has failed to meet its
> obligations to provide FiOS to New Yorkers as it was charged. If Verizon is
> unable or unwilling to meet those commitments, then competitors who can get
> the job done should be given the opportunity to do so,” said *David
> Solomonoff, President of the Internet Society of New York*.
> Joly MacFie +12185659365
> To manage your Internet Society subscriptions
> or unsubscribe, log into the Member Portal at
> and go to the Preferences tab within your profile.
> View the Internet Society Code of Conduct:
As governments struggle to fund C19, the digital transformation will be
more about work at home acceptance and telemedicine with the existing
infrastructure for most places.
In my humble opinion there is a fast need to transform ewaste product in to
reusable CNware....also provide technical support...
How can we extend the user family ? Can we share ideas quickly ?
Although CN is a G20 priority, real funding will be limited...
I stay quiet now, ..best wishes of the season ...
Amali De Silva-Mitchell