|Welcome to the first
monthly round-up of developments
impacting your local access networks.
1. Get involved
- The submission of initiatives and projects
to the WSIS Prizes contest is open until 2
January 2018. Read more.
2. Calls for grants
- Facebook's Telecom Infra Project has
released a call for applications for grants
for those interested in deploying their own
OpenCellular solution. Read more.
- Microsoft’s Airband Initiative is
welcoming applications for grants until 31
January 2018. You can read more about how to
apply, who they fund, and the expected
outcomes on the grant fund page. Read more.
3. Events and conferences
3.1 Upcoming events
- The Internet Governance
Forum 2017 takes place from 17 to 21
December in Geneva, Switzerland. There are
several sessions that could be of interest
for those following local access
conversations. In this shared
document we have higlighted some. In
particular, these three are directly related
to the topic:
- 18 December 10:50-12:20 UTC: How devices,
content & innovative business models
shape our digital future: creativity with
purpose. Where the LibreRouter
will be presented.
- 19 December 11:20-11:50 UTC: Financing and
building sustainable community networks -
the Coolab experience. Session
organised by CoLab.
- 19 December 16:20-17:20 UTC: Meeting of the
Dynamic Coalition on Community
Links for remote participation will be made
available by the organisation closer to the
beginning of each session.
- 7amleh, the Arab Center for the
Advancement of Social Media, from Palestine,
is organising the Palestine Digital
Activism Forum 2018, which is taking
place on the 17th of January 2018 in
3.2 Resources from past events
4. Community networks in news and
- This blog post by
Leandro Navarro compares the benefits of
decentralised internet provisions, with many
valuable references to local access
- [In Spanish] The Internet Society firmó
con el Ente Nacional de Comunicaciones
(Enacom) un acuerdo de cooperación para
detectar los pueblos sin conectividad para
promover en ellos las redes comunitarias. Read more.
- [In Spanish] El trabajo de Ik’ ta K’op, un
colectivo mexicano que trata de resolver sus
propias necesidades de comunicación en el
estado de Chiapas, ha sido recogido por la
agencia Mexico News Network. Read more.
- Zenzeleni Networks,
an ecosystem to promote community-owned ISPs
in rural South Africa, was recently profiled
in the South African news after winning the
best social innovation award at a national
innovation event. More here and here.
- Guifi.net, one of the world's biggest
community networks, with a major footprint
in Catalonia (Spain), was featured in the
- Community networks have been brought to
the headlines in the US media as an
alternative to the FCC regulations to roll
back their net neutrality order. One example
is this article from Vice
Magazine. An older report about the
community network in Detroit mentioned in
the article is available here.
5. Relevant articles on technologies
related to local access networks
- In the November edition of "The
Economist", a series of articles devoted to
technology in Africa are very much related
to discussions of community connectivity.
Glenn McKnight has gone through the trouble
of scanning it to make it available to
- Airtel India is publishing their tower
locations. Read more.
- In "Zebras Fix What
Unicorns Break", Jennifer Brandel,
Mara Zepeda, Astrid Scholz and Aniyia
Williams share some of the challenges faced
by “zebra companies”, defined as those with
alternative business models who seek
sustainability while creating a more just
and responsible society, when attracting
funds. There are many parallels between
zebra companies and local access
- For those interested in community cellular
networks, Steve Song reflects in this post about
the convenience of using 3G or 4G.
- The South African government has published
an invitation to
comment on their Electronic Communications
Amendment Act. This amendment has
important consequences for the way local
access initiatives will be able, for
instance, to access spectrum or government
funding. Deadline 31 January.
- The Federal Communications Commission
(FCC), the communications regulator in the
United States, has released a proposal to
"Restore Internet Freedom" which many
consider a rule against net neutrality.
- In response to the US developments on net
neutrality, India reiterated its commitment
to protect it. Read more.
- [In French] The African Telecommunications
Union urges governments and other
stakeholders to make rural connectivity
their priority. Read more.
7. Reports and publications
- The Internet Society has released a report
on Promoting the
African Internet Economy. It focuses
on the potential for internet-based
platforms to foster growth in Africa's
economy and includes some interesting
examples of local and regional services that
are successfully targeting local needs
across the continent. In line with the
report's recommendation about the need to
develop local content infrastructure in
order to support a robust internet economy
across Africa, EdgeMicro is working on a solution to
deploy data centre containers right at cell
- After lots of work and too much time,
Rhizomatica have finally released their
Community Cellular Manual in English. The
version in Spanish is
- The United Nations Conference on Trade and
Development released their Information Economy
Report 2017 where community networks
are mentioned when discussing solutions for
"Reducing the Divides in Digital Technology
This newsletter is part of the
project titled, “Local Access Networks:
Can the unconnected connect themselves?”
developed by APC in partnership with
Internet Society and Rhizomática, with
support from Canada's International
Development Research Centre (IDRC).
Invite others to suscribe to this
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edition, please share it with us at email@example.com.
December 2017. Association for
Progressive Communications (APC)