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Welcome to the ninth monthly round-up of developments impacting your local access networks.

1. Call for grants
  • OpenCellular Grants (OCG) is a programme to fund, promote and accelerate the non-commercial development and non-traditional deployment of OpenCellular (OC) in rural areas where access to cellular is limited due to availability of service, price of service or limited consumer demand. The successful development and adoption of OC as a way to connect rural communities could lead to significantly more people getting access to cellular. The OCG grant programme is specifically designed to address that opportunity. Please submit a letter of intent here. Letters of intent received by 20 October 2018 will be considered for the next round of grants to be announced in December 2018. Read more.

  • The FRIDA Fund winners of the two community networks grants and the community networks award have been announced. Read more.

2. Events and conferences

2.1 Upcoming events

  • There are many events happening in September that were already included in the previous newsletter, so please check them out here. Read more.

  • The 5th Annual Latin America Spectrum Management Conference will take place on 5-7 September 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and there will be a session on community networks. Read more.

  • The 2nd Africa Summit on Women and Girls in Technology will be held on 9–11 October 2018 in Accra, Ghana. There will be a panel on community networks. Read more.

  • The Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation ICT Forum 2018 is taking place on 1-3 October 2018 in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, and some of the key topics will be: broadband planning for digital transformation, the changing nature of universal service funds, over-the top operators, the impact of net neutrality regulations, cybersecurity, the General Data Protection Regulation, blockchain and global opportunities, spectrum management, and youth in ICTs. Read more.

  • The 13th International Conference and Exhibition on ICT for Education, Training and Skills Development, taking place on 26-28 September 2018 in Rwanda, will offer the session: “Limited Internet Access? Let's Build Our Own Networks! Offline Teaching and Learning in Sub-Saharan Africa.” Read more.

  • The list of approved sessions for the 2018 Internet Governance Forum has been published. Read more. And great news! Three sessions, at least, will be about community networks: 

- WS #428 “Spectrum for Community Networks:A 'Must' That Is Hard to Get”. Read more

- WS #308 “Community Networks Meet Blockchains: Friends or Foes?” Read more

- And these two merged in a 90-minute session: WS #376 “Innovative Approaches to Connecting Underserved Areas”. Read more. And WS #279 “Investment Strategies to Scale Community Networks”. Read more


2.2 Resources from past events

  • Reunión Regional Preparatoria para el Foro de Gobernanza de Internet (FGI LAC):

- [En español] Video del panel “Desafíos, logros y experiencias de manejo de redes comunitarias en América Latina”, moderado por Valeria Betancourt, directora del Programa de políticas de comunicación e información de APC y conformado por Lilian Chamorro de Colnodo (Colombia), Carlos Baca de Rhizomatica (México), Agustín Garzón de ENACOM (Argentina), Oscar León de CITEL (participación remota), Sebastián Bellagamba de ISOC (Uruguay), Andrés Sastre de ASIET y Ariel Graizer de la Cámara Argentina de Internet (CABASE) en el FGI LAC comenzando en 4:54:00. Video aquí.

- [En español] Redes comunitarias y el arte del equilibrista: desafíos, logros y experiencias que van más allá del acceso. Leer más

- [In English] Community networks and the art of the tightrope walker: Challenges, achievements and experiences that go beyond access. Read more.

- [En français] Les réseaux communautaires et l’art du funambule : défis, réalisations et expériences qui vont au-delà de l'accès. Lire la suite.

- [En español] Redes comunitarias deben ser sustentables para cumplir su objetivo. Leer más.

  • CANTO Conference:

- Internet experts call for more community networks in the Caribbean. Read more.

- Community networks could help strengthen the Caribbean internet. Read more.

  • Commons Network in London: What would an alternative Internet look like? Read more.

  • APrIGF 2018: Focusing on internet governance in the Asia Pacific region. Includes highlights on the session on community networks that took place there. Read more.

  • The WINS Challenge demo day was streamed, with many interesting projects related to community networks presented. Watch here.

  • [In German] Summary of Latin American people involved in community networks participating at re:publica 2018 and Deutch Welle conferences. Read more.

3. Community networks in news and blogs
  • Funding models for community-based internet service providers. Read more

  • Gender and community networks: Building a movement around community networks and gender equality. Read more

  • Gender and community networks: Researching social and gender impact. Read more.

  • [En español] Colnodo, ganador del programa de subvenciones de FRIDA, implementará tecnología TVWS con enfoque de género en proyectos comunitarios en Colombia. Leer más.

  • [In English] Colnodo, winner of the FRIDA grant programme, will now implement TVWS technology with a gender focus in community projects in Colombia. Read more.

  • [En français] Colnodo, gagnant du programme de subventions de FRIDA, aura recours à la technologie TVWS et suivra une approche de genre dans des projets communautaires de Colombie. Lire la suite.

  • [En français] Coupés du monde connecté, ils créent leur propre réseau téléphonique. Lire la suite.

  • Third Summit on Community Networks in Africa to take place in Eastern Cape. Read more.

  • [En español] La necesidad de proteger la red: En aumento las interrupciones de acceso a internet por parte de algunos gobiernos en el mundo. Leer más.

  • Presentation on community networks and TV white space by Jabhera Matogoro. Video here.

  • Las Marías of Azacualpa: Internet for raising women’s voices. Read more.

  • [Em portugués] Concentração, resistência e apropriação. Video aquí.

  • Building connectivity across 27,000 square miles. Read more.

  • A community-run ISP is the highest rated broadband company in America. Read more.

  • Communities can own their internet destiny. Read more

4. Relevant articles on technologies related to local access networks
  • Ammbr reveals technology for long-range wireless connectivity up to 8 km. Read more.

  • Google is boosting internet access in Nigeria’s biggest cities with free public wifi. Read more.

  • Superfast scheme could transform connectivity for thousands of UK rural customers. Read more.

  • Wikimedia Foundation and Kiwix partner to grow offline access to Wikipedia. Read more.

  • [En Français] Le conseil municipal de Raoued adopte le Wifi public gratuit dans deux parcs de la ville. Lire la suite.

  • [En español] Redes comunitarias: infraestructura y conectividad de abajo hacia arriba: el caso de LibreRouter, el nuevo hardware libre para promover las redes. Leer más.

5. Policy and regulation
  • [En español] ¡Excelentes noticias! El ente regulador nacional de Argentina reconoce oficialmente a las redes comunitarias. Leer más.

  • [En español] Telecomunicaciones Indígenas Comunitarias A.C, única red de telecomunicaciones indígenas que recibió concesión para móviles. Leer más.

  • [En español] Libertad de expresión en internet. Puntos clave para el contexto ecuatoriano. Aporte para la visita del Relator Especial para la Libertad de Expresión de la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos, Edison Lanza. Leer más.

6. Reports and publications

6.1 Academic publications on community networks

  • Mohamed M. Kassem, Mahesh K. Marina, and Bozidar Radunovic: DIY model for mobile network deployment: A step towards 5G for all. Read more.

  • Roberto J. González: Zapotec innovation in a Mexican village: Building an autonomous mobile network, Anthropology Today 34 (4). Read more.

  • Kashif Ali and Kurtis Heimerl: Designing sustainable rural infrastructure through the lens of OpenCellular. Communications of the ACM, 61 (8). Read more.

  • [En español] Tres informes que exploran las redes comunitarias desde la perspectiva latinoamericana, publicados en el libro “Gobernanza y regulaciones de internet en América Latina” lanzado en el FGI LAC el 1 de agosto. Leer más.

- Luca Belli: "Las redes comunitarias y el principio de Autodeterminación de Red".

- Christian O’Flaherty: "Construcción de infraestructura comunitaria tecnologías y modelos disruptivos".

- Carlos F. Baca-Feldman, Erick Huerta Velázquez, María Álvarez Malvido, Daniela Parra Hinojosa y Karla Velasco Ramos: "Tejiendo autonomía tecnológica en los pueblos indígenas: telefonía celular comunitaria en Oaxaca, México". 

  • As part of the recent partnership between Fundação Getulio Vargas and Amazon, an epub version of the 2017 DC3 report “Community networks: the Internet by the people, for the people” has been released. Read more

  • Ligang Liu, Jianpo Liu, Hanwang Qian and Jun Zhu: Performance Evaluation of BATMAN-Adv Wireless Mesh Network Routing Algorithms, in Proceedings of the 2018 5th IEEE International Conference on Cyber Security and Cloud Computing. Read more.

  • Roger Baig: Libraries and community networks: A collection of win-win opportunities, in Facing the Future with Confidence: IFLA’s Trend Report Update 2018. Read more


6.2 Forthcoming academic conferences and calls for papers

  • The 9th International Conference on Communities and Technologies: Transforming Communities takes place on 3-7 June 2019, TU Wien, Vienna, Austria. Read more.

  • The 10th International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development (ICTD) takes place on 4-7 January 2019, Ahmedabad, India, and has launched a call for open sessions, doctoral consortium, demos and pre-published papers. Read more

  • Call for papers for a new special issue on "Sustainable Communication Networks” of the MDPI Sustainability Journal (with Impact Factor of 2.075). The deadline is 30 November 2018. Read more

7. Previous editions
  • Previous editions of this newsletter are available here.


This newsletter is part of the project called “Local Access Networks: Can the unconnected connect themselves?” developed by APC in partnership with the Internet Society and Rhizomatica, with support from Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC).

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August 2018. Association for Progressive Communications (APC)