Another way to think of it is that CN's don't "coexist". They exist on
own as open connectivity that uses any available means to interconnect
rather than being a "network". Think about an Ethernet using a coaxial cable
or local radios. They are just facilities like sidewalks. Within your home
telecom is not an issue and that's also try as far as you can extend
connectivity among your neighbors.
The challenge then is how to reach the rest of the world. In this case the
telecommunications infrastructure is an asset -- you can buy passage from
them. It is inexpensive if you have a community doing the purchasing rather
than buying at retail. Typically commercial buyers don't have the same
restrictions as retail purchasers. The value is created your devices using
the CN so the telecommunications business model is not sustainable.
OK, now the reality check. There can be perverse laws as the one in Germany
that made it illegal to have an open access point. Fortunately the courts
there recently overturned that rule. Generally commercial connections have
few restrictions but there are no guarantees. These restrictions aren't
necessarily about greedy telecom but efforts implement societal policies in
the wires (as in the rules on open access points).
This is why it is important to set examples where we can. For this purpose
the telecommunications industry is a resource we can use to reach the rest
of the world. It doesn't matter whether we use wires or radios. Sure, it
would be nice if the wireless space wasn't locked down but increasingly
wireless is more important for local connectivity. Once we reach a wire or
fiber we can reach the world.
My issue is less with telecom than CNs that are implement in the
telecommunications model as with city-owned broadband using the same
business model as telecom. CN's implemented as open connectivity a new
framing that treats wires, radios and telecom as a resource. Once we take
the resource view we can mix and match any means available. In addition to
buying passage from telecoms we can also look at universities, corporations
and others to drive the process.
At some point governments will realize the idea of limiting us to profitable
speech is bad policy but that will only happen as we demonstrate what we can
do with open connectivity. While I see common carriage (AKA, network
neutrality) is not sufficient policy, such rules limit the restrictions on
commercial accounts in countries such as the US.
[mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of Diego Vicentin
Sent: Thursday, June 2, 2016 16:50
To: Dynamic Coalition on Community Connectivity <dc3(a)listas.altermundi.net>
Subject: Re: [DC3] Thoughts on Community Infrastructure
Dear Bob and dear Nico, thanks for sharing your thoughts. This is just a
quick reaction to it and Bob's text.
Although I completely agree with Bob's distinction between Internet and
Telecommunication, I'd like to point out that the telecommunications
industry is stronger than never. Telecom operators are basically enforcing
their old "business model" over the internet that is increasingly understood
as a service towards a consumer or "end-user"
(not as internetworking). Telco's attempt to impose "data caps" model in
cable services is only a recent example of scarcity creation between many
CNs are indeed an important alternative to avoid the scarcity regime by
relying on local engagement and technology. But, CNs have to coexist with
Telecom industry since the latter will not simply disappear. For this reason
I suggest that an important task for this group (DC3) in regard to IGF and
other "governance bodies" (like ITU) is defining principles to establish
fair coexistence, especially in terms of interconnection (traffic exchange)
and radio spectrum access that seem to be two key factors to CNs' operation
Em 01/06/16 11:16, Bob Frankston escreveu:
(This is a bit rambling ... more reason for a
it's hard to capture all the nuance in a monolog).
It's helpful for me to learn how people interpret my examples. There
is also a lot to respond to that requires more of a book than an
essay. I'm striving for an amoral understanding of motivations and the
paradigms/memes through which we view the world. There is an
interesting interplay between the acceptance of authority be it
corporations or saviors that leads us to look to authority for
answers. It is the notion that things can't work unless someone is in
charge. My sense is that in Latin America there is a more lawless
version whereas in the US there is more of a popular embrace (aided and
I've switched from roads to sidewalks as my standard example because
roads to have a lot of implicit semantics. I use trolleys as an
example of infrastructure built for "access" rather than local use.
You may be interested in http://rmf.vc/Turnpikes
describing how the US
went from toll roads as the norm to roads as a public facility. At
this point I explain that tolls are only placed at constriction points
where people can be forced to pay and we tell them just-so stories
about why the tolls pay for the roads when, in reality, they are just more
of income to the ...
either community or road owners or whatever. This is
also related to
the "access" meme - it's another story.
One reason I use sidewalks is that they facilitate walking but are not
necessary because one can take paths.
While people can be forced to drive on highways in the US, at least,
they are generally public infrastructure so that they aren't
considered captured by corporations. In
I write about public roads permitted
competition with railroads whereas the FCC has prevented a similar
our ability to communicate.
As to food, you might be interested in
In general I don't worry so much about "corporate benefit" as much as
acceptance of the notion that things are "provided" rather than
created by cooperation. This is why your examples are so important. It
is also why I try to explain how we stumbled upon a DYI/DYO (Do It
Ourselves) Internet because it's difficult for people to understand
and thus the provider story is so much easier.
I'll need to learn more about the World Forums and we should think
about how to present a DYO approach for IGF. I'm glad you and Luca are
on top of this because Im not very good at such procedures. They are
far beyond my planning horizon.
[mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Nicolás
Sent: Wednesday, June 1, 2016 00:16
Subject: Re: [DC3] Thoughts on Community Infrastructure
I've finally taken the time to read your text Bob.
I believe your ideas are perfectly compatible or maybe even more of a
background to what I've been pushing for lately: that we stop
talking about access to the Internet and instead start to talk more
about making infrastructure available to people (communities), so they
devices) can network in whichever way they want/can.
The "internet access" terminology puts the people in a position of
receiving a service and it also puts companies as middlemen between these
and the "goods" they are consuming
(Facebook, Youtube, etc.).
You know I usually use the example of the roads system in a different
way than you do, but it's compatible:
The Internet as it's being mostly modeled by big companies is
equivalent to a roads system where every house has to be directly
connected to a toll road or highway. There are no local roads, no
sidewalks, no spontaneous paths through the land. Just highways.
In this model, people cannot "walk" to the park or to the local shop
(local service); those cannot exist. People have to use the highway
and they have to buy at the Mall (concentrated data centers) and have
fun in the Mall's theater (Facebook, Youtube, etc.). And of course
they always have to pay for this "access" through toll booths.
In my view, fighting for "access for everyone" leaves out the
discussion about how the infrastructure is built, controlled and used.
From community networks perspective we need to stress these ideas. We
need local infrastructure that's open for everyone to use (just like
local roads are), where people can host and offer locally and to the
rest of the world their contents, services, etc. This point of view
also breaks the idea of scarcity that is artificially imposed only to
And this also connects our struggle with many others that are also the
result of artificial scarcity for corporate benefit. The food problem
is one example. And in fact, the approach of that fight is also sometimes
Communities don't just need access to food. We
need a system where the
land can be used locally so the people can produce and share what they
need. The artificial scarcity problem is again created through
concentration, of the land, of the production means and of the food
There are many other examples of this and it's a reason why I have
focused for years on trying to get people from one camp to identify
they are fighting the same struggle as others, just in a different domain.
So... in relation to this, I want to propose that we somehow have the
DC3 represented in the World Social Forum and the World Forum of Free
Media this year in Montreal.
Sorry for the long e-mail.
On 05/21/2016 08:22 PM, dc3(a)bob.ma wrote:
Ive tried to put together my thoughts about
as infrastructure. For now its a draft at
I plan to post it when the video of my Rio talk on infrastructure
Id appreciate feedback.
DC3 mailing list
DC3 mailing list
DC3 mailing list