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Photo: Daniela Bello

This is the first edition of our newsletter in 2024 – and it brings encouraging prospects for community-centred connectivity. On the one hand, we can look back on groundbreaking experiences in Africa, Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean in 2023. On the other hand, the year begins with new opportunities, whether in terms of open calls or spaces and materials to strengthen these initiatives through shared knowledge. 

Welcome to the 65th monthly round-up of developments impacting your local access networks and community-based initiatives.

Routing for Communities podcast
  • The first season of the Routing for Communities podcast was launched last year, sharing 12 powerful stories of community networks around the world. The season presented diverse voices from 15 countries, showcasing experiences that reflect on how and why communities choose to be connected and use information and communication technologies. The whole season is now available on the podcast landing page, and also on Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Community networks news and stories
  • Seeding change in 2023: The annual review of this column highlighting community impacts of the APC network showcases a number of inspiring initiatives connecting people through community networks and feminist frameworks. Read more.

  • How are grassroots communities promoting digital inclusion while strengthening their autonomy? By sharing knowledge. The National Schools of Community Networks are collective capacity building efforts that are laying the foundations for change through shared knowledge in five countries: South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Indonesia and Brazil. Watch this video to find out more.

  • In Nigeria, the non-profit organisation Hello World has teamed up with APC, CITAD, Tizeti Internet, and seven local community networks to introduce an innovative, sustainable, and community-led solution called the “Hello Hub”, aiming to reduce the digital divide. Read more in this article and check out some great pictures at Hello World social media.

  • BOSCO Uganda have been building their community network for more than a year. This blog looks at the reason for and impact of building it. Read more.

  • The dream of connecting communities through collaboration and technology: Find out more about the construction of the Novo Futuro community network. The initiative brings educational content to local residents who face structural obstacles in Brazil. Read more.

  • Also from Brazil, Nupef Institute celebrates the conclusion of a course on technology, communication and human rights, carried out in partnership with the National Coordination for the Articulation of Quilombos (CONAQ). As part of the activities, four community networks were set up and 10 young people from five communities were trained. Read more. [Available in Portuguese.]

Gendered experiences
  • A new special edition of was just launched, proposing to rethink the digital society from the experience of women and diverse ways of living. The eight articles in it reposition principles such as solidarity, respect for life from an inter-species perspective, mutual support, the meaning of community, collective decision making and care at the heart of technological creation. Read more. [Available in Spanish.]

Enabling policy and regulation
  • Community network regulation around the world: This paper provides a brief overview of the growing recognition for community networks at the international, regional and national level and the evolution of regulatory frameworks to enable their development. Read more.

  • What makes connectivity meaningful? Last year’s theme of the Internet Governance Forum was “The Internet We Want – Empowering All People”. If the theme became a question – What is the internet we want? – then the voices from a series of short interviews conducted during the Forum highlight different aspects of the answer. Read more.

  • African Telecommunications Infrastructure in 2023: The 10th annual review takes a look back to 2014 to see what has changed in this field. Read more.

  • In Brazil, the working group set up by the telecommunications regulatory agency, Anatel, released its report at the end of 2023, with a series of recommendations to advance support for community networks in the country. Read more about some priorities for civil society representatives in the national press coverage here, here and here. [Available in Portuguese.]

Publications, research and toolkits
  • A recently launched two-hour game aims to enable a better understanding of internet infrastructure and to offer strategies to circumvent internet shutdowns by governments. It has been designed under Creative Commons licensing so that anyone can can adopt and adapt it for their needs, and it can be played both online and in person. Read more.

  • Africa Community Networks Exchange on Knowledge Resources: This webinar series is sharing insights and learning experiences of community networks in the region. The next gatherings will take place on 31 January and 7 February 2024, always at 13:00 UTC. This is the link to register.

  • The Internet Society - Kenya Chapter and aherinet will host the inaugural National Summit of Community Networks in Kenya from 14 to 17 February 2024 in Siaya County. The theme will be "The Role of Community Networks in developing Kenya's Digital Economy". Read more.

  • Between 4 and 6 December 2023, several meetings of community networks were held in the city of Bogotá, Colombia, with the participation of 14 representatives of 10 community networks from around the country accompanied by civil society organisation Colnodo. Read more. [Available in Spanish.]

  • This article shares some highlights of the 16th edition of the Latin American and Caribbean Internet Governance Forum (LACIGF), held in Bogotá, Colombia, on 4 and 5 December 2023. Read more. [Available in Spanish.]

Funding opportunities    
  • The Honnold Foundation partners with marginalised communities to support solar energy access work through its core funding grant programme. The call for applications for the 2024 grant cycle is now open and will close on 2 February. Read more.

  • The Sovereign Tech Fund invests in the development, improvement and maintenance of open digital base technologies worldwide. Read more.

  • The non-profit organisation Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers announced its ICANN Grant Program, which will make funding available to develop projects that support the growth of a single, open and globally interoperable internet. ICANN is opening an application cycle on 25 March 2024, which will remain open until 24 May. Read more.


Community networks learning repository

This repository is a collective online space to store and exchange resources that can be useful in training processes, with an emphasis on materials made for and by community networks.

In this issue, we would like to highlight a series of materials produced within the Kenya National School of Community Networks, focusing on important topics such as finance, sustainability, budgeting and stakeholder mapping.

Find out more!



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 Africa, Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean. You can read more about the initiative herehere, and here

Previous editions of this newsletter are available here.

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One more thing! If you have comments about the newsletter or information relevant to the topic that you would like us to include in the next edition, please share it with us here.