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Network infrastructures provide connectivity, a critical resource for our digital lives, and are therefore key for social inclusion and public participation. There are many technical, economic and operational ways to provide internet connectivity. In this paper we describe a model to develop network infrastructure as common property, governed under the principles of common-pool resources. The model is based on the principles of cooperation instead of competition – because universal connectivity can only be achieved if everyone has the right to create their own connectivity. There are many examples of how communities have succeeded in organising to achieve this. The result is local community network infrastructures that are open, sustainable and adapted to local conditions, which can produce abundant connectivity and support local socioeconomic development, everywhere and for everyone.