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Photo: La Différence

Welcome to the 38th monthly round-up of developments impacting your local access networks.

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Resources from past events
  • On 28 July, Latin American participants from different countries came together to debate how to create community networks (CN). In three different sessions, they discussed reasons to build community networks, infrastructure and deployment aspects and the sustainability of a CN. Read more.

  • This Thursday (29 July), the "Lightning Talks sessions about Community Networks Technology" gathered diverse people from around the world who engage in community networks activities to bring up the technology-related topics we need to talk about. Read more.

  • The first session of the Virtual Summit on Community Networks in Africa season 2021/2022 took place on 28 July, presenting tools and resources to navigate the stages and processes needed to set up and operate a sustainable community network. Read more.

Community networks in news and blogs
  • Scaling opportunity with Murambinda Works: This story tells how a community network in Zimbabwe grows from a cyber café to a local hub of knowledge, healthcare and development. Read more.

  • This piece from CITAD brings the highlights of a civil society consultative meeting on community networks convened by them. The meeting, attended by over 40 organisations, was held online on 27 July to discuss the importance of community networks as a tool for addressing the digital divide. Read more.

  • Seeding change: By working side-by-side with the local community, La Différence builds Pamoja Net, a community-owned network providing internet access, while facilitating technological learning for youth on the island of Idjwi (Democratic Republic of Congo). Read more.

  • The Local Networks (LocNet) initiative, led by APC in partnership with Rhizomatica, announced the results of its 2021 Community Network Grant Programme call launched in April this year. Find out more about the 15 initiatives selected from among the 96 impressive proposals to strengthen community networks in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Read more.

  • Read this piece to know how Colnodo made meaningful contributions to the community networks movement by supporting three such initiatives in Colombia while strengthening its own strategy. Read more.

Gendering community networks
  • Delhi-based not-for-profit organisation Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) works on bridging the digital divide in rural areas in India. Among its approaches, DEF build a project named Barefoot Women Wireless Engineers, through which women were trained in setting up and troubleshooting the nodes of a community network. Read more.

News on policy and regulation
  • Politics of difference: This article from REDES A.C. reflects on the scope of the Mexican Supreme Court thesis against the charge for spectrum use rights in favour of the communities (available in Spanish). Read more.

  • This course, promoted by Instituto Bem Estar Brasil with ISOC support, aimed to support Brazilian community networks on how to get legal recognition. Read more.

  • This master class during the Africa Law Tech Festival 2021 discussed how regulators can better support community networks that are working to connect themselves, and the roles lawyers can play in pushing forward innovative and inclusive frameworks at the national level. Taking place on 5 July, it highlighted that the digital divide shows that the current approach to access is leaving too many behind. Read more.

  • As the Nigerian telecoms regulator is reviewing its licensing processes, CITAD is calling for the inclusion of community networks as a special category of licences to help reach the more than 50% of Nigerians who still have no access to the internet. Read more.

  • On 15 July, AlterMundi and the Agrarian Branch UTEP organised the first meeting of a series of conversations that seek to enunciate connectivity, in principle oriented to rurality, but not exclusively. Natalia Vinelli, from the Argentinian regulator body Enacom, presented the Roberto Arias Program, which provides public funds for the financing of specifically non-profit connectivity networks. Read more.

Funding opportunities
  • Cloudflare announced Project Pangea to offer its network services for free to eligible non-profit community networks and local networks, including a free on-ramp to internet connectivity for eligible communities. The project website presents more information about the services and the requirements to apply. Read more.

  • Initiatives around digital educational technology solutions have until this Friday, 30 July, to apply to the call for proposals from the Wehubit programme of Enabel, the Belgian development agency, which intends to support education technologies and the continuity of education. 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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