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Image: the Ju|’hoan people in Namibia. Photo: Nic Bidwell

Welcome to the 42nd monthly round-up of developments impacting your local access networks and community-based initiatives.

We have created a platform for community networks to share our experiences and grow together. Please join us at

Events and conferences
  • Routing for Communities film festival: On 3 December, we will hold an online screening of films about community networks and people decentralising the internet for change in Africa, Asia and Latin America. This will be an opportunity to share amazing experiences, learn together and talk with the filmmakers. Join us! Register to receive more information about the films and the panel discussions. Read more.

  • The 16th annual IGF meeting will be a hybrid model this year from 6 to 10 December. You can find more information on the sessions around community networks and access in the forum schedule and also on the IGF 2021 DC3 Sustainable Funding Models for Community Networks session page. Read more.

Resources from past events
  • As part of the Tech for Democracy online event, on 9 November, the session "Making digital tech work to democratize local communities and support environmental justice" addressed community-based connectivity initiatives and discussed how can digital technology support environmental justice and its defenders. Read more.

  • Focused on the Asia Pacific Region, the Community Network Exchange 2021 occurred on 15, 17 and 23 November on the theme of "Community Networks for Social Good". The recordings from all three sessions are still available on the streaming platform. Read more.  

  • This online seminar addressed the digital divide, generating a discussion on strategies, solutions and experiences in Latin America (available in Spanish). Read more.

Community networks in news and blogs
  • In this piece from you can find out more about the important work of BOSCO Uganda on ending internet isolation in the north of the country. Read more.

  • The piece "Creating a digital community network with the Ju|’hoan people in Namibia" tells how a catalytic project was implemented to co-design an offline social network that allowed the people living in the remote Nyae Nyae Conservancy in Namibia to exchange audio recordings, including ones about gardening challenges and practices to produce their food. Read more.

  • Find out more about a new project in Malawi to contribute to an enabling policy and regulatory environment for community networks, aiming to address the connectivity gap in the country in a community-oriented and participatory way. Read more.

  • The news piece "Bridging Africa's digital divide: The rise of community internet" features some inspiring experiences in the region, such as those from BOSCO Uganda and Zenzeleni Networks. Read more.

  • This news report provides more information on the community-based mobile initiatives from Telecomunicaciones Indígenas Comunitarias (TIC A.C.) in Oaxaca, Mexico. Read more.

Gendering community networks
  • Whose voices are heard in policy and regulatory spaces? What are our gendered experiences in these spaces? How can we build more inclusive, diverse and community-oriented access policies? If questions like these resonate with you, follow this Twitter thread to learn more about SPACE - the Socio-Political Advocacy for Community Networks Engagement capacity and movement building mentorship programme. Read more.

News on policy and regulation
  • The Communications Authority of Kenya just adopted a Licensing and Shared Spectrum Framework for Community Networks after holding a public consultation in the country and promoting a process that allowed the development of the framework in partnership with multiple stakeholders. This piece from Kenya ICT Action Network (KICTANet) provides more information about this important milestone. Read more.

  • The Web Foundation's Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) published a policy discussion paper about energy and internet infrastructure, discussing the role of universal service and access funds in financing them. Read more.

  • In Brazil, Nupef Institute, Idec and Artigo 19 have just launched a study offering an analysis on the situation of community networks in the country and highlighting their potential for democratising internet access (available in Portuguese). Read more.

  • The publication Digital Skills Insights 2021 examines the future digital skills ecosystem and the importance of digital skills in a world shaped by the pandemic. Among the eight articles in this year’s edition, you can find the "Capacity development for Indigenous communities of the Americas region" giving an analysis on the importance of training processes fostering self-determination and strengthening different ways of life through ICTs. Read more.  

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

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 developing countries. You can read more about the initiative herehere, and here

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Photo: courtesy of Nic Bidwell for the Seeding Change column highlighted in this edition