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Image: Participants at the ComunicArte gathering organised by Colnodo in Popayán, Colombia. October 2019.

Welcome to the 27th monthly round-up of developments impacting your local access networks.

We have created a new platform for community networks to share our experiences and grow together. Please join us at

Announcement: invites LocNet women and other women, gender-diverse, queer folks and feminists who work in community networks to submit pieces about their experiences in the times of COVID-19. What have you learned about communication and its enablers? What about vital infrastructure, systems of knowledge, and privacy? Write to us to inquire further or to submit your proposals to and with the subject line “CN stories” and a few lines about your idea of writing or visual work.

Events and conferences
  • ISOC and CITEL announced the call to participate in the Building Wireless Community Networks course, to be held online from 14 September to 25 October 2020. Read more.

  • Internet Archive is hosting a gathering where community networks experiences from India, Brazil and South Africa will be shared. In communities where many are offline, how do you educate students, share good health information and protect yourself during COVID-19? What technologies and community practices are emerging to fill these needs? Read more.

  • The African Union Commission is hosting a webinar in the series on African Internet Resilience about complementary access models, where community networks will be discussed. Read more.

  • RightsCon is taking place online this year, from 27 to 31 July. One of the sessions focuses on "Working on a regulatory agenda for community networks in Latin America". Read more.

  • EIFL (Electronic Information for Libraries) announced its participation in the 2020 Internet Governance Forum, which will be held online this year in November. Read more.

Resources from past events
  • You can listen to the NYC Mesh July organisational meeting here. Read more.

  • ISOC's Rural Development SIG hosted a webinar about "Empowering Rural Community". You can listen to it here. Read more.

  • ISOC hosted a webinar to explore the importance of community networks for providing connectivity and how they are helping rural communities to respond to COVID-19. Read more.

Community networks in news and blogs
  • B4RN asked their volunteers and customers what broadband had meant for them during the COVID-19 lockdown. This report summarises how good connectivity helped people keep in touch, work from home and access education. Read more.

  • Mama Sigcau is one of the original Zenzeleni Mankosi Cooperative directors, and has been involved in the community network through its multiple phases over the last seven years. Read more.

  • ComunicArte gathering in Colombia fosters mutual learning among peers. Read more

  • Many community networks replied to the ITU request for comments on how the telecom industry has responded to the COVID-19 situation. Read more.

  • "The digital divide and access to information in rural versus urban areas: How do we bridge the gap?" Bill Tucker shares his experience from his collaboration with Zenzeleni. Read more.

  • In this podcast, Josephine Miliza of TunapandaNET is interviewed about what connectivity and "the internet" mean in today's world, and about community networks. Read more.

News on policy and regulation
  • The ICT4D Research Centre at Bahir Dar University, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, the Internet Society Ethiopia Chapter, the Internet Society, the Network for Digital Rights in Ethiopia and APC submitted a contribution to Ethiopia's draft Telecommunications Licensing Directive No. 1/2020. Read more.

  • Colnodo submitted comments on the draft spectrum policy of the Colombian Ministry of ICT and National Spectrum Agency. Read more.

  • A reflection on political advocacy experiences led by community networks activists in three European countries. Read more.

  • A new research article on initial data usage measures for a community network based in Cape Town, South Africa. Read more.

  • The exploration of link quality for wireless community networks. Read more.

  • An economic case study of collaborative networking. How costs are distributed among the participants is a key question. Read more.

Tools and toolkits
  • Jellyfin, an open source media sharing platform, has issued a new release with a lot of features. It has been used in some community networks like Moinho Mesh to share movies, and now people can watch them together from the confinement of their homes thanks to the SyncPlay functionality. Read more.

Funding opportunities
  • CIPESA is providing grants through the Africa Digital Rights Fund for work on freedom of expression and online association, which community networks enable. Read more.

Previous editions
  • Previous editions of this newsletter are available here.

This newsletter is part of the project titled, "Local Access Networks: Can the unconnected connect themselves?", carried out by APC in partnership with Internet Society and Rhizomatica, with support from Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC) in 2017/2018 and funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) since 2019. 

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