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  • On 13 June 2017, Internet Society Vice President, Global Engagement, Raúl Echeberría, and Senior Director, Global Internet Policy, Constance Bommelaer de Leusse, participated in the Opening Ceremony and the High-Level Policy Session on Bridging Digital Divides at the World Summit on the Information Society Forum (WSIS) 2017. Here are their reflections. The WSIS +10 Review made explicit the link between the WSIS process and the 2030 Agenda. A link that highlights the unprecedented ability for information technology to support human progress, and to reduce the...
    Date published 13 June 2017
  • In 1997, we finally got the Internet in Nepal. Unfortunately, it was only available in the capital, Kathmandu, which is very far from my village of Nangi. But almost immediately, I started thinking of ways we could get Nangi online. I was already familiar with the Internet from studying in the United States, and I had a lot of ideas about how being online could improve life in Nangi. For the next four years, I talked to a lot of people about how we could get connected, but nothing seemed feasible. Nangi is in a remote, mountainous part of the country, so we didn’t have wireline phone service...
    Date published 02 June 2017
  • My interest in networking began during my time as a professor and head of the telecommunications lab at the University of Los Andes, in Merída, Venezuela, where we began experimenting with computer networks. I was one of the earliest Internet enthusiasts at our university.  Our university was the first in Venezuela to get direct access to the Internet backbone in Homestead, Florida, by means of an antenna on the roof of our lab with the satellite modem in my office. When I’m not working as a professor, though, I love to explore the outdoors. I started wondering, What would it take for me...
    Date published 11 May 2017
  • India is an interesting country when it comes to Internet access.  On the one hand, India has the second most Internet subscribers in the world. There are over 450 million people online here. On the other hand, we also have the largest number of unconnected people. Only about 35 percent of our population is online, including more than 70 percent of women. Between 70 and 80 percent of our landmass isn’t connected, including most rural parts of the country. So we have a severe problem when it comes to connectivity. I helped found the Digital Empowerment Foundation about 20 years ago, with...
    Date published 02 December 2016
  • Be it high into the Himalayas, deep into the country side of India or the hills of Mexico, incredible people are helping to bring connectivity to some of the world's forgotten places. We want to you to a part of it. Yesterday we held an online forum where some of these incredible people shared how they are connecting the world by connecting communities.   They talked about how they helped build community networks and how hard it can be to get equipment.  We heard about different network models, ways to fix common problems, links to resources for new projects and to help...
    Date published 29 June 2016
  • What We Do Connecting the unconnected. We are committed to network development and deployment around the world. We have seen great changes through small projects and through communities of interest. We help train, provide funding, and build communities to sustain Internet networks. We partner with people and sponsor what they do! People are at the heart of building, maintaining, and sustaining networks. People train people and provide support to each other. Read about the local heroes who are helping build sustainable networks to develop connectivity. What They Are Community networks,...
  • Carlos Rey-Moreno, Author Executive Summary There is widespread recognition of the opportunities and potential benefits of expanding access to the Internet, as recognized by the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets. Yet, around four billion people still lack access to it. Community networks, communications infrastructure deployed and operated by citizens to meet their own communication needs, are being increasingly proposed as a solution to connect the unconnected. However, in Africa, where the proportion of unconnected is among the highest globally, little is known about the role...
  • Introduction/Background Connecting the next Billion is one of the central issues on the international Internet and Internet Governance agenda. At the Internet Society, we consider “Connecting the Next Billion” as a key issue, as it relates directly to our mission and vision. Despite the success of the mobile revolution in Africa, there are significant barriers to connectivity. Community established networks also referred to as “community networks” (CN) are an emerging and sustainable solution to address the connectivity gaps that exist in urban and rural areas around the world. In Africa,...
  • Summit on Community Networks in Africa & Wireless Networking Workshop 2017 © Internet Society/Nyani The 2nd Summit on Community Networks, which was held from 25 – 26 May in Nairobi, Kenya, alongside the Africa Internet Summit (AIS'17), aimed at building on the successful discussions that took place at the inaugural summit, held in November 2016. This 2nd summit was preceded by a 3-day technical workshop on wireless networking technologies from 22 - 24 May 2017.  Community established networks also referred to as “Community Networks” (CN) have existed for many years and, provide...
  • Community established networks also referred to as “Community Networks” (CN) have existed for many years and, provide a sustainable solution to address the connectivity gaps that exist in urban, remote, and rural areas around the world. In Africa, where these gaps are more evident, a recent survey was able to identify 37 community networks initiatives in 12 African countries, of which 25 are considered active.  The objective of the summit is to promote the creation and growth of Community Networks, increase collaboration between community network operators in the region and to provide an...