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Image from the video on the Latin American Community Networks Summit.

Welcome to the 11th monthly round-up of developments impacting your local access networks.

1. Call for grants

  • The GSMA Connected Society will be launching its Connect Society Innovation Fund for Rural Connectivity this October 2018. With support from the UK Department for International Development, the program fund aims to support innovative new technology solutions for connecting unserved rural communities. Applications for the fund, which offers grants of up to £300,000, open this month. Read more here and here

  • The EQUALS Digital Skills Fund aims to use research as a method of breaking down barriers to the internet for women, to reduce the digital gender divide. The fund offers financial resources to local initiatives providing gender-sensitive skills training across countries in the Global South. Read more on the specific initiatives the fund supports, available grants from €5,000 to €15,000 and how to get involved here.

  • The Coaching Fellowship is a non-profit organisation dedicated to developing young women leaders serving extraordinary women around the world. To be a part of their global women’s community of non-profit leaders, impact entrepreneurs, activists, rocket scientists, artists and more, check out their next round of applications opening in January here

  • No Women Left Out Initiative is seeking applications from eligible women’s organisations for the first round of its small grants program in Nigeria, with the theme “Pushing Forward Equality & Empowerment of Women for National Impact”. Projects must meet at least one of the following two goals: increased income generation or market access. Proposals will be assessed based on the strength of the idea, potential impact and feasibility of implementation. Read more

  • Grantees from past calls: The WomenConnect Challenge launched by USAID called for solutions to reduce the digital gender divide, and was met with more than 500 applications from 89 countries. The winners are as follows: AFCHIX, Equal Access International, Gram Vaani, Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, Innovations for Poverty Action, Institute for Financial Management and Research, Mali Health, GAPI and Bluetown and Viamo

2. Events and conferences


2.1 Upcoming events

  • The final agenda has been released for the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) 103 Meeting to be held in Bangkok, Thailand, from 3 to 9 November. Read more.

  • Community Network Xchange (CNX) 2018 will take place on 31 Occatober 2018 at the UNESCO Office in New Delhi. This year’s theme is the “Role of community networks and community radios in leveraging public wi-fi in Asia Pacific countries”. Read more.

  • The thirteenth annual Internet Governance Forum (IGF) will be hosted by the Government of France at the headquarters of UNESCO in Paris from 12 to 14 November 2018. The conference will include several sessions related to community networks, detailed below.


- 11:20-12:20: Dynamic Coalition on Community Connectivity: When the Unconnected Build Connectivity. Read more
- 12:30-13:30: Spectrum for Community Networks: A "Must” That Is Hard to Get. Read more


- 13:30-15:00: GISWatch Launch. This year’s topic is community networks. 
- 15:00-16:30: Best Practice Forum on Gender and Access. Read more.


- 9:00-10:30: Scaling community networks: Exploring blockchain and efficient investment strategies. Read more
- 9:00-10:30: Innovative Approaches to Connecting Underserved Areas. Read more.


2.2 Resources from past events

  • The Southern Africa Network Operators Group Conference (SafNOG-4), hosted by Tanzania Internet Service Providers Assocation (TISPA) in collaboration with Eastern Africa Network Operators Group (EANOG) and Tanzania Network Operators Group (tzNOG), was held from 24 to 29 September in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. The theme of the event was “Building and Sustaining Regional Communities”. View the slides and a livestream from the conference.

  • The African Summit on Women and Girls in Technology was held from 9 to 11 October in Accra, Ghana. View the live stream from the event here. The agenda included a Community Networks workshop series in partnership with APC, Zenzeleni, Mesh Mukavu and TunapandaNET, available here.

  • The Indigenous Connectivity Summit 2018, hosted by the Internet Society from 9 to 12 October in Northern Canada, focused on how to connect Indigenous communities to fast, affordable and sustainable internet. Watch the livestream from the event here, or read a recap of the event here

  • The Latin American Community Networks Summit, held in Argentina in September, has continued publishing videos of the event, available here. In addition, they have created a document with shared definitions, proposals and recommendations from those present at the summit. 

3. Community networks in news and blogs
  • [En español] Nuestras tecnologías en nuestros propios términos: autonomía y sostenibilidad en la comunicación indígena en México. Leer más

  • Connecting rural South Africa: The case for community networks. Read more

  • [En español] Las redes comunitarias de internet crecen y se multiplican. Leer más

  • Indigenous Connectivity Summit: My perspective. Read more

  • New York City Groups Take broadband into Their Own Hands. Read more

  • Broadband Bruce: Fighting Canada's Digital Divide - Witness. Watch here.

  • Building a Community LTE Network in Bokondini, Indonesia. Read more.

  • World in Progress: Trailblazers (Audio story on Zenzeleni Networks). Listen here.

  • Community networks and libraries. A short film in Spanish. Watch here.

  • The Presence of Community Networks in Latin America and the Caribbean. Read more.

  • [En español] Nuestras tecnologías en nuestros propios términos: autonomía y sostenibilidad en la comunicación indígena en México. Leer más

  • [En español] Conectados o dominados. Leer más.

  • Fertile Ground in Asia for Innovative Digital Inclusion Solutions. Read more on page 32-33.

4. Relevant articles on technologies related to local access networks
  • Satellite operators form C-band consortium to protect existing use of spectrum. Read more.

  • AfriCanopy to trail TV white space broadband project in KZN. Read more.

  • Fibre Feudalism by Steve Song. Read more.

  • A new era in Wi-Fi: FCC fast-tracks Wi-Fi in 6 GHz band. Read more

5. News on policy and regulation
  • [En español] Comentarios Audiencia Pública sobre el proyecto ley 152 de 2018 por medio del cual se moderniza el sector de las TIC: Leer más.

  • Government Gazette, Abridged Final Report: Spectrum requirements for Wholesale Open Access Network (WOAN). Read more.

6. Reports and publications


6.1 Reports relevant to community networks and local access initiatives

  • Northern Public Affairs Volume 6 Special Issues 2, “Connectivity in Northern and Indigenous Communities. Read more.

  • The economic contribution of broadband, digitization and ICT regulation. Read more.

  • 2018 Affordability Report from the Alliance for Affordable Internet. Read more.

  • Several sources have published reports of slowdown in internet penetration and plateauing of unique subscriber growth: 

  1. Exclusive: Dramatic slowdown in global growth of internet access. Read more.

  2. The GSMA has published a series of reports which highlight downward trends in subscriber rates and mounting affordability issues:

  • The Mobile Economy: Sub-Saharan Africa 2018. Read more.

  • Global Mobile Trends: What’s driving the mobile industry? Read more.

  • State of Mobile Internet Connectivity 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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October 2018. Association for Progressive Communications (APC)