Thanks. I wasn’t thinking of the term “essential facilities” but it is indeed helpful.
Before I respond I should explain why I’m taking this particular approach. Incremental approaches like reducing the cost of web access to make it more available is indeed useful but ultimately we need to get back addressing the fundamental concept that is behind our efforts – the strict separation of the facilities (or infrastructure) from the particular applications – and that includes “access”. The first step is to have an understanding of the concept even if, in practice, we are working within the existing givens. If we fund the facilities apart from any particular applications we are liberated to move ahead.
Alas, all words have semantic loading. When I lookup the term Regulated Facility (as in https://www.lawinsider.com/dictionary/regulated-facility) It seems far enough afield that we might be able to make a distinction. But I’ll try to be aware of the possible misinterpretation
The challenge is getting an understanding that there are indeed facilities apart from services such as the Web. More of a challenge is explaining that traditional telecommunications and “Internet Access” are ways we use the facilities. The very name ITU assumes that those Telecommunications services are fundamental. This is why the US FCC has tied itself into knots of “titles” in an attempt to distinguish between basic services and enhanced services (Télématique) in order to address the problem of ATT owning Unix in 1980 (or 5G today).
I trying to write about this now so would appreciate suggestions.
How do I distinguish between the kind of common carriage regulation one needs for railroads (and telecom) vs the kind of regulation we have for sidewalks? We don’t regulate sidewalks in the same sense so common carriage doesn’t apply. Instead we have rules about behavior like not running people down with your bicycle (except, as I’ve found, in bicycle lanes where some riders see punishing errant pedestrians as their mission).
One thing that makes this complicated is that while a wire may indeed be passive there are smarts in the switches and routers. The key is to recognize that these smarts are apart from the particular application. We can model them as street signs giving directions because they are indifferent to the provenance (intent) of the packets as opposed to a telecom router which knows the value of the packets. But that’s a difficult concept for most people, including many steeped in the details of the technology, to understand because the gear looks the same but the difference is the way it is used.
Question: at the same time, the term "facilities" relate to theories/doctrine that might be useful when challenging monopolist practices e.g. "essential facilities doctrine" ?
-------- Mensagem original --------
De : Jane Coffin <email@example.com>
Data: 01/06/2020 10:26 (GMT-03:00)
Para: Dynamic Coalition on Community Connectivity <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Assunto: Re: [DC3] ITU Council seeking input on how Community Networks increase Internet connectivity
Just some food for thought.
If you use the word facilities – you tie back to old regulatory methods that regulated “facilities”.
This might be far worse in some regulatory regimes and subject a CN or small ISP to more onerous regulatory conditions.
Network is a bit more flexible for some regimes/countries.
The problem is that you can’t define the word “network” outside of implicit contexts. At this point I think the word facilities minimizes the semantic loading and allows us to talk about networking as a way we use the facilities. The powerful idea is looking at what we do with the facilities, including computer networking and social networking, which we can own locally without being told how to use it and without having to tithe a provider.
Yes, Bob's point is valid as a general caution on the need to be careful about the words we use, but "Network" is not really a word that we can easily replace. If the danger lies in equating Networks with "Telecom Networks" then, why not say "Community Internet Networks" instead? Or, "Community Internet Infrastructure" ?
On Fri, May 29, 2020 at 8:53 PM Michael J. Oghia <email@example.com> wrote:
+1 Bob, well said
On Fri, May 29, 2020 at 5:15 PM <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
If we are move forward we need to be very careful about the words we use and, in particular, avoid the word “network” because it has implicit semantic loading that includes the business model of telecom.
Instead we must talk about “community owned facilities” since we do our own networking using our own apps and devices.
Notice DC3 doesn’t use the word “networks” which is a setup in the right direction. But maybe if we want further with “community owned facilities” we could make it clear that we need enabling technology not just “provided” services.
This more about economics than technology that is what is most worrisome to the ITU. As long as we accept that connectivity is “provided” to “subscribers” will be negotiating with the ITU rather empowering communities.
What we call Community Networks is not what Telecom companies would like to see become successful. If the term "Community Networks" is hijacked, any diluted definition + commercially beneficial architecture supercedes the Community Network vision and a sub-telecom architecture might get identified and promoted as a "Community Network.."
On Fri, May 29, 2020, 13:37 Carlos <email@example.com> wrote:
The G20 mentioned CNs indeed in its "COVID-19 Response Statement from the G20 Virtual Ministerial Meeting" as one of the means to expand connectivity “Furthermore, digital capacities should be expanded, in particular by increasing broadband connectivity using fixed, mobile, and satellite technologies and by exploring non-traditional means of connectivity, such as community networks.”
Policy makers are going sufficiently slow about CNs in most countries. If at all, I see the interest of the ITU contributing to speed up things. It's obviously voluntary for everyone to participate in this process, but the process is taking place regardless, and either we contribute or the likes of the GSMA, Viasat and Telefonica will contribute with their own definitions of community networks which are very far from the ones that have been considered here. In that case, is not only that the ITU may influence policy makers, is that is will influence them with the wrong evidence.
Here an example of the interpretation of what community involvement means for GSMA and one of its members
On 28/5/20 21:07, Raoul Plommer wrote:
We need to work with ITU, if we want changes like free spectrum to break through internationally. However, I totally agree that we need to be very careful what power we give them in advising them.
On Thu, 28 May 2020 at 16:46, sivasubramanian muthusamy <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
It is good to keep the ITU informed, but this can't lead to a situation where ITU gains total legitimacy over all policy related to community networks, which might place the ITU in a position to influence all decisions, some of which might cause the policy makers to go slow on Community Networks... (Sorry, I find it difficult to trust the influences weighing in on ITU)
On Thu, May 28, 2020, 19:10 gphlilanthi <email@example.com> wrote:
I hear G20 are supporting CN. Does anyone know of any specifics regarding this policy please?
Regards AmalI De Silva-Mitchell
Sent from my Galaxy Tab A (2016)
-------- Original message --------
From: Carlos <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 27/05/2020 22:20 (GMT-08:00)
To: dc3 <email@example.com>
Subject: [DC3] ITU Council seeking input on how Community Networks increase Internet connectivity
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@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
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_______________________________________________DC3 mailing list--Carlos Rey-Moreno, PhDLocal Access Policy and Regulation CoordinatorAssociation for Progressive Communicationshttps://www.apc.org/en/project/connecting-unconnected-supporting-community-networks-and-other-community-based-connectivityCel: +27 (0) 76 986 3633Skype: carlos.reymoreno Twitter: Creym
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