The Community Wireless Cooperative (CWC) by Alternative Solutions for Rural Communities (ASORCOM) is a sustainable, low-cost approach to expanding internet connectivity to rural, remote and underserved areas of Myanmar. The proposed project seeks to establish a seeding organisation that develops autonomous, community-managed wireless infrastructures to overcome barriers to access in rural and remote communities. These infrastructures, known as mesh networks or meshnets, will be managed by a new digitally linked constituency of alternative network operators to provide information and communication services to their communities and catalyse new social and economic development opportunities. The new information constituencies will also be in a position to represent the interests of Myanmar’s digitally underserved communities and contribute policy recommendations for the design and implementation of Myanmar’s ICT infrastructure and proposed Universal Service Fund.
ASORCOM was formed on 9 April 2013 by members of the Siyin-Chin Youth Network Organization (SCYNO) and the Siyin Project who were eager to help and develop the community they have grown up in, which means they are familiar with its needs. Working with the community closely to provide an outcome that will help create a more sustainable society, they envision community networks as a connectivity strategy that can contribute to solving the communication problems of rural and remote areas of Myanmar and establish an inclusive informal education system including a knowledge, skills and information sharing platform.