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This joint publication by APC and Common Room Networks Foundation (Common Room), Bandung, Indonesia, is part of a community networks learning grant, conducted through the project “Connecting the Unconnected: Supporting community networks and other community-based connectivity initiatives”. The project, developed by APC in partnership with Rhizomatica, aims to directly support the work of community networks, with the support of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).

The initiative intends to contribute to an enabling ecosystem for the emergence and growth of community-based connectivity initiatives in developing countries. It is part of a multi-year, multi-donor strategy envisaged to address the human capacity and sustainability challenges, along with with the policy and regulatory obstacles, that limit the growth of community-based connectivity initiatives.

This report offers a storytelling journey through the various meetings, forums, peer visits, field experiences and collective exchanges in which Common Room along with other peers played a substantial role in their path towards creating and fostering a local access peer learning community.

The first example takes place in West Java, within the Kasepuhan Ciptagelar indigenous community. The Kasepuhan Ciptagelar have been facing increased development in the region, which threatens their traditions and their land. Common Room proposed the project in 2013 and in 2016, multiple organisations came together to implement a data centre for local land information. Using satellite data and field surveys, the project recognised the importance of connectivity for the protection of traditions. The project was deployed by the residents of Kasepuhan Ciptagelar and was assisted by Awinet, a local internet service provider, and the community set up a network of wireless infrastructure across several villages. Also featured are traditional activities that take place within the Kasepuhan Ciptagelar community.

The report also touches on the 2019 Indonesia Internet Governance Forum, and the importance of digital literacy, the voices of women, and the digital divide.

Finally, this report includes the details involved in visits to community networks in Indonesia, Myanmar and India. In October 2019, members of various APC-connected community networks visited networks in Indonesia. This included attending the Ngaseuk rituals, which are part of a traditional indigenous farming practice to mark the beginning of a new planting season. Another stop included visiting the internet infrastructure in the Ciptagelar and Burangrang area, as well as the micro-hydro turbine which powers the Kasepuhan Ciptagelar networks. This visit also included an internet radio workshop led by Janastu. There is also a report on the visit to the internet and radio networks in the villages of Thuklai and Valvum in northern Myanmar. Finally, the CNLG peer visit also included a trip to India, where peers visited community networks such as the Pathardi Village in Maharashtra and the ProtoVillage in Andhra Pradesh, as well as participating in the AnthillHacks event, which supports the idea of open and accessible technology.

Table of contents

Foreword: Connecting the unconnected

Community network profile

  • Common Room

  • APC

Global community networks inception meeting in Kenya

Field notes from Kasepuhan Ciptagelar

  • The development of community networks initiatives in Kasepuhan Ciptagelar indigenous community

  • Local internet infrastructure in Kasepuhan Ciptagelar

  • Brief introduction to AWINET

  • Looking back at the innovation factory/ict4ag in 2016

  • Preparing the local community-based internet infrastructure

  • Local community-based internet infrastructure development

  • Internet utilization by the Kasepuhan Ciptagelar indigenous community 

Brief notes on Asia-Pacific Regional Community Networks Summit 2019 in Bangkok

Live-in activities in Kasepuhan Ciptagelar

  • Learning about digital storytelling

  • Creating songs with the children in Kasepuhan Ciptagelar village

  • Woman’s role and daily life in Kasepuhan Ciptagelar

  • Rorokan and customary institution in Kasepuhan Ciptagelar

  • Serentaun, harvest festival and paddy rituals in Kasepuhan Ciptagelar

Notes from the Indonesia Internet Governance Forum 2019 (ID-IGF)

APC community networks peer visit to Indonesia

  • Attending Ngaseuk rituals

  • Visiting internet tower in Ciptagelar & Burangrang area

  • Visiting Micro-Hydro Turbine

  • Raspberry PI Radio workshop by Janastu

Visiting community networks in Myanmar

CNLG peer visit to India

  • Visiting community networks in Pathardi Village

  • Taking part in the anthillhacks 2019

  • Continuing the CNX 2019 in proto village

Attending Kariaan Agung cultural ceremony

Interview: Onno W. Purbo, rendering the history of community networks movement in Indonesia

Closing remarks


Project team


This publication is part of the project titled “Connecting the unconnected: Supporting community networks and other community-based connectivity initiatives,” developed by APC in partnership with Rhizomática, funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).