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Image source: Rhizomatica

Welcome to the 33rd 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
  • This free online course promoted by ITU will address female leadership in the telecommunications and ICT sector. The deadline is short: people interested should register by 26 February. The activities will be held in Spanish between 8 March and 23 April 2021. Read more.

Resources from past events
  • The fifth and last session of the Virtual Summit on Community Networks in Africa took a deep dive inside the operations of two African community networks: BOSCO Uganda and Pamoja Net. Watch it to find out more about their governance, business, and technical operations experiences. Read more.

  • Café Colaborativo is an online space designed to build and exchange knowledge, practices and reflections around Colombia's community networks. The last session was held online on 16, 18 and 19 February. In this post, Jxa'h Wejxia Casil and Colnodo describe the network and some challenges faced (available in Spanish). Read more.

Community networks in news and blogs
  • In Tanzania, a community network cooperative society brings affordable connectivity, cleverly leveraging existing infrastructure: television white space. Find out more in this reflection on Jabhera Matogoro's Mozilla Fellowship. Read more.

  • "Los sueños que están por venir" is a beautifully illustrated story about a community that lives on top of a mountain, far from the city, and their process of implementing a community network to meet communication needs. Read more.

Gendering Community Networks
  • This article discusses domestic work and the lack of women’s leadership in community networks, based on the living and working conditions of the women in the Brazilian community of Marrecas. The article is part of a series co-produced by and APC's local access networks (LocNet) project about COVID-19, gender and community networks. Read more.

  • During the lockdown, community support has been critical in India for LGBTIQ+ people, but it depends on the phone and/or internet connectivity in many cases. This article from Brindaalakshmi. K wonders if informed choices regarding internet usage are possible in this context. Read more.

News on policy and regulation
  • TIC AC, backed by Rhizomatica and Redes por la Diversidad, Equidad y Sustentabilidad A.C., is celebrating a historic victory: exemption from paying fees for the use of radio spectrum in Mexico. This resulted from years of community struggle and is a crucial step to allow communities to provide service in areas that the telecoms market does not reach. Read more.

  • The seventh annual review of telecommunications infrastructure development in Africa, by Steve Song, provides an analysis of 2020 as well as links to over 275 articles covering a range of African telecom infrastructure development issues. Read more.

  • The book “COVID-19 from the Margins” offers a collection of articles about pandemic invisibilities, policies and resistance in the datafied society. One of them is an interesting chapter written by Nic Bidwell and Sol Luca de Tena, reflecting on the role of community networks in customising information and services for rural inhabitants during the pandemic, based on the experience of Zenzeleni's response to COVID-19 in South Africa. Read more.

Funding opportunities
  • NGI-Pointer launched an open call to support promising bottom-up projects that can build scalable protocols and tools to assist in the practical transition or migration to new or updated technologies. The deadline is 1 April. Read more.

  • The IEEE Humanitarian Activities Committee and SIGHT Projects launched an open call for proposals focused on COVID-19 response, including initiatives in the information and communications technology (ICT) field. The deadline is 1 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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