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Image source: Digital Empowerment Foundation

Welcome to the 32sd monthly round-up of developments impacting your local access networks.

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APC shares highlights of its work to promote affordable and sustainable connectivity between 2016 and 2019. Read more.

Events and conferences
  • Nodes that Bond, an experimental project of binding technology and women through circles of collective learning, is offering a free-form workshop, aiming to inspire groups of women to organise themselves within their territories. The first round will take place on the 6 February in Portuguese and the second from 8 until 12 February in English. Read more.

Resources from past events
  • This 90-minute session about "Alternative infrastructure, digital safety, and community networks" brought together a diverse group of speakers from different regions during the 2021 World Social Forum (WSF) on 26th January.. Read more.

  • The IID webinar "Building Profitable and Sustainable Community Owned Connectivity Networks" was hosted on 31 August 2020, aiming to look at how rural and township wireless connectivity models can be scaled up in light of the COVID-19 crisis. You can find the Proceedings Report here. Read more.

  • This recap from the Internet Society gathers information on how they worked with people worldwide to build a stronger community network environment. Read more.

  • At the Virtual Summit on Community Networks in Africa, over 200 local connectivity network operators discussed affordable and reliable connectivity to underserved communities. The Summit completed three of the five planned sessions in 2020, covering different aspects. Read more.

  • The second virtual open talk "Community Networks and Technology" of the Argentine Summit of Community Networks (CARC) discussed mesh networks. You can watch the full video of the event. Read more.

Community networks in news and blogs
  • In partnership with APC and Rhizomatica's LocNet initiative, is supporting five organisations, in Argentina, India, Mexico, Nigeria and Uganda, in their efforts to strengthen community networks and respond to the challenges in the face of COVID-19. Read more.

  • Read the journey of the Lambarda Community, a tribal village in Tamilnadu (India), coming together to connect themselves to the internet. Read more.

  • How have community networks from Latin America partnered up for learning, sharing and caring? Check out the story of the Latin American Community Networks Organisation for Technological Appropriation (ORCAL), a joint initiative of community networks and network builders to reinforce individual and collective sustainability. Read more.

  • Read the experiences from co-creating a local knowledge network, a reflection from a project funded through a catalytic intervention grant that was jointly implemented by Living Labs Network and Forum and Janastu/Servelots to support archiving at the grassroots in Bidar, India. Read more.

Gendering Community Networks
  • This beautifully illustrated story is a tale about how two community network women in India and the women around them sustained connectivity while navigating a global pandemic as the country came to a lockdown. Read more.

  • Access the paper "Women and the Sustainability of Rural Community Networks in the Global South" written by researcher Nicola Bidwell. Read more.

  • and APC's local access networks (LocNet) project team invited women who work in community networks to share their experiences during the time of COVID-19. This is the story of hardworking and resilient women who engage with a health information chatbot in Pamoja Net. Read more.

  • Also part of the GenderIT and LocNet series, this comic told us the story of Belém, a character inspired by interviews conducted with seven women who work with community networks in Colombia, Mexico, Argentina and Brazil. Read more.

  • "Installing community networks, uninstalling gender stereotypes" is an amazing story highlighting the work carried out through a catalytic intervention grant by the Digital Empowerment Foundation in India. Read more.

News on policy and regulation
  • In an important victory in a case filed by Telecomunicaciones Indigenas Comunitarias, A. C. (TIC AC), the Mexican Supreme Court decided that nonprofit and indigenous operators should not pay taxes for spectrum. Read more.

  • The new "Measuring Digital Development: Facts and figures 2020" report estimates that 3.7 billion people were not connected to the internet in 2019. The publication also highlights that the pandemic has dramatically reinforced the vital importance of connectivity. Read more.

Tools and toolkits
  • This manual created by IIT Bombay brings information about small solar-powered systems for students who live in remote rural villages and are unable to attend online classes due to power outages. Read more.

  • Coolab developed a web application to help technicians and non-technicians determine what equipment is needed for community networks to implement solar energy projects. Read more.

Funding opportunities
  • The EKOenergy's Climate Fund is with an open call for new renewable electricity projects in developing countries and regions, including small scale solar energy ones. The deadline to send proposals is 7 March. Read more.

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

This newsletter is part of the Local Networks (LocNet) initiative, an initiative led by APC in partnership with Rhizomatica that aims to directly support the work of community networks and to contribute to an enabling ecosystem for the emergence and growth of community networks and other community-based connectivity activities in developing countries. You can read more about the initiative herehere, and here

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