APC’s local access and community networks team hosted a webinar called “We ♥ Bamboo: How to grow and construct your own bamboo masts for extending rural connectivity – sharing experiences”. The aim of the webinar was to offer guidance to those who would like to build bamboo community network towers or further develop their work in this area.
This joint submission was made in response to an invitation by the Ethiopian Communications Authority (ECA) for interested stakeholders to submit their comments on a number of draft telecommunications-related directives and policies.
This article presents a compilation of responses from community networks in the face of COVID-19 based on a dialogue organised by APC, as well as articles published by community networks in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Ecuador, the United States and Mexico.
Nontsokolo Sigcau, better known by those around her as Mama Sigcau, is one of the pillars in the community of Mankosi as well as one of the original Zenzeleni Mankosi Cooperative directors, and has been involved in the network through its multiple phases over the last seven years.
Most of the spectrum sharing to date has focused on TV white spaces, and extending it to the IMT bands, those used for mobile broadband, and hence being able to reach users' handsets, is a major advance in the advocacy work that Colnodo has been leading in Colombia for this to happen.
The five-day event combined workshops in Popayán, where representatives of community networks from throughout the region shared experiences and knowledge with the others, and a day-trip visit to the RedINC community network in the municipality of Buenos Aires, Cauca.
On 17 June 2020, APC collaborated with other organisations to submit a contribution to the draft Telecommunications Licensing Directive No. 1/2020. In the contribution, we recommend the Ethiopian Communications Authority consider international recommendations, as well as best practices in other countries both regionally and globally.
Alternative Solutions for Rural Communities (ASORCOM) in Myanmar believes that building a community network is not just about internet connectivity, but also working with the community, building trust, providing support and sharing skills for their sustainable development.
It’s sometimes difficult to see changes in the short term, but it is undeniable that internet access as a common good made a big difference in these Brazilian communities who have control over their own infrastructure.
By employing and training three technologists on Idjwi to take on a more active role in the management and technical development of the network, Ensemble was able to bolster community ownership of the network and enhance the skills, expertise and quality of life of this group of young people.